Repealing Obamacare's Individual Mandate Would Save $338 Billion

With Republicans scrambling to find every possible dollar to pay for Trump's "massive" tax reform package, on Wednesday morning a new analysis by the CBO calculated that repealing ObamaCare's individual mandate - an idea that had been floated previously by Trump - would save $338 billion over 10 years. CBO previously estimated repeal would save $416b over 10 years due to reduced use of Obamacare subsidies, demonstrating once again how "fluid" government forecasts are.

The report was released as the Senate prepares to unveil its own version of the Tax reform bill amid growing GOP dissent, and comes as some Republicans are pushing for repealing the mandate within tax reform, as a way to help pay for tax cuts. Still, as The Hill reports, that idea has met resistance from some Republican leaders who do not want to mix up health care and taxes. Previously the CBO had come under fire on Tuesday from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), who slammed the agency after Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told The Hill that he had been informed that the CBO was changing its analysis of the mandate to find significantly less savings.

Just as notable was the CBO's announcement that it was changing the way it analyzes the mandate, which Republicans suspect would show less government savings and fewer people becoming uninsured as a results.

"The agencies are in the process of revising their methods to estimate the repeal of the individual mandate," he said. "However, because that work is not complete and significant changes to the individual mandate are now being considered as part of the budget reconciliation process, the agencies are publishing this update without incorporating major changes to their analytical methods."

Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., who has been one of the most vocal advocates of including repeal of the individual mandate in the tax bill, has touted the savings that would come as a result. His team said it is confident that the scoring will include similar numbers to previous reports. "We’re confident the CBO estimate will still show a substantial — north of $300 billion — savings for tax reform," Caroline Tabler, spokeswoman for Cotton, told the Washington Examiner in an email.

CBO has been criticized for years for its analyses on the effects of the individual mandate. Republicans have charged that the mandate isn't as effective as CBO concludes and have said they want to see it repealed. Some Obamacare supporters also have said it should be stronger by becoming more expensive or should be more heavily enforced.

While the CBO calculation is a boost to Republicans who want to repeal the mandate in tax reform, because it means there are still significant savings to be had from repealing the mandate, mandate repeal still faces long odds. Repealing the mandate - a broadly unpopular decision in many states - could also destabilize health insurance markets by removing an incentive for healthy people to enroll.

Earlier in the day, the CBO said that according to the Joint Committee on Taxation, the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" would increase deficits over the next decade by $1.4 trillion, which is good enough to slip under the $1.5 trillion limit required for reconciliation. The CBO did however add that the additional debt service would boost the 10-year increase in deficits to $1.7 trillion.

Comments

Manthong hedgeless_horseman Wed, 11/08/2017 - 10:37 Permalink

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  Who cares? ….what’s a third of a trillion  dollars between friends?   A trillion here… a trillion there ….. pretty soon  you are talking about real inflation.

In reply to by hedgeless_horseman

pods rubiconsolutions Wed, 11/08/2017 - 12:13 Permalink

That is a very good distinction.  The money is a good side effect, but the reason we should abolish it is simply due to that is not how a free nation works. Either you have freedom, or you do not. If they have the power to do things like this, you are not free, they simply are not choosing to exert force in the other areas. They still have the ability though.pods

In reply to by rubiconsolutions

MachoMan pods Wed, 11/08/2017 - 13:06 Permalink

Sure.  However, we can't ignore the remainder of the regulatory environment.  If the individual mandate is removed, then are insurance companies going to be able to offer products that are affordable?  If I'm not penalized for abstaining, then that's cool I suppose...  but if I'm still prohibited from getting insurance that's worth a damn, then I'm not sure how that benefits me.  If I fail to purchase insurance, then I can still haggle with them after the fact and get them to reduce their demand for money (bill) to, at the very least, the rate I would have paid for their services if I actually had insurance.  However, this completely avoids recognition that the services are 5-20x too expensive to begin with...If they want to pull the plug on the thing, then I'm cool with that...  the problem is that the insurance system will still live on in really weird ways, e.g. through employers, which will set the bar much higher than it should...  but it will gyrate out of control, eventually.  The problem with that approach is that everyone isn't in the same boat to respond.  Why not just do away with the whole thing and reinstate the old system?  What was wrong with it anyway?  There wasn't really a want of health services... 

In reply to by pods

mkkby MachoMan Wed, 11/08/2017 - 16:20 Permalink

Gov corruption is the ENTIRE REASON insurance even exists.

Force health care providers to publish prices JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER FUCKING BUSINESS. Competition would drive down prices so that you'd only need insurance for major events. Like a car crash or illness that puts you in a hospital for weeks or months.

You go to the doctor and you have to agree UP FRONT to pay anything they wish. Then you get your surprise on the way out. Of course, that surprise is a rape job. Hundreds of dollars for something that costs a nickel.

This kind of abuse was wrung out of auto repair decades ago. They have to provide a detailed quote up front, then stick to it. They can't take your keys away until you fork over some ridiculous payment for nothing.

Hospitals and doctors will do anything they can to resist price discovery. Until then we all need insurance to keep from going bankrupt every time we get sick/injured.

In reply to by MachoMan

Endgame Napoleon MrBoompi Wed, 11/08/2017 - 11:20 Permalink

Our tax and healthcare systems are already entertained, not just with Medicare paycheck extractions, but with the equally costly $260 billion Employer Tax Exclusion that makes so-called “employer-provided” health insurance possible. We would have more insured citizens and more middle-class households if dual-earner parents raised their own children, rather than taking two jobs with benefits undergirded by a very expensive tax exclusion for their employers. They also enjoy government-mandated absenteeism privilèges and constantly demand more workplace privileges for womb productivity.

Taxation and housing are also symbiotic, not just in the case of mortgage deductions for homeowners, but in the case of tax credits given to developers who build reduced-cost housing for single mothers.

This low-cost housing option is provided for those with high womb productivity, in addition to the nearly free Section 8 housing option. It gives the single moms with more money a much nicer, safer, “independent” housing alternative in better areas of cities than most single, childless college grads who must live on earned-only income can afford.

It also provides the landlords with a tax-code-subsidized business option, a per-unit tax credit that reduces the risk of their investment, like the per-birth rent reduction awarded to the single moms for sex and reproduction.

Many states provide this free or reduced-cost housing option and other welfare freebies to immigrant “working families” with sole, male breadwinners whose traceable wages do not exceed the income limits for the programs.

These mixed-income, tax-credit-property-housed moms—unlike the moms in Section 8 who get free food, monthly cash assistance and energy assistance—sometimes work fulltime, especially in the few cases where their boyfriends and parents are not providing a lot of untraceable, unearned income, explaining the enormous number of new SUVs in the parking lots of tax-credit (mixed income) apartment complexes.

Whereas, the working moms or “working families” in the much-more-dangerous Section 8 apartments have to stay below the less-than-$1,000-per-month, earned-income limit for welfare, established by Bill Clinton’s handiwork: the 1996 Welfare Reform Act.

Many of the moms in the mixed-income apartments get food stamps, too, as much as $800 per month, with the average momma receiving $450 per month. All of these moms add a $3,337 to $6,269 child-tax-credit check to their earned income from mostly part-time jobs. Their tax-time, reproduction-reward check equals 4 months of full-time wages in a $9-per-hour job.

At least, the landlords getting the tax credits to build the pay-per-birth housing pay some income tax, whereas moms using $6,269 child tax credits to finance beach trips with their latest boyfriend do not pay income tax. They make too little to pay income tax.

The tax code is not really a vehicle of taxation; it is a social-engineering project to generate womb productivity.

The tax-code designers provide incentives for sex and reproduction, assuming that producing more humans to compete with robots for jobs in a quickly automating world will stimulate Keynesian spending. Beach resort towns, employing mostly immigrant temp workers, do get a lot of that child-tax-credit money. A $6,269 check goes a long way when your rent and groceries are paid by taxpayers for sex and reproduction. They do not get much from the employees at the same wage level, living on earned-only income, with no wombs or unproductive wombs.Their $300-or-less tax returns will not buy much, and they do not enjoy free housing, free food, etc. anymore than they enjoy tax-code welfare.

In reply to by MrBoompi

Save_America1st hedgeless_horseman Wed, 11/08/2017 - 10:48 Permalink

Hegelian Dialectic:  1. scumbag gov't creates problem  2. ignorant public outcry to fix it  3. pre-determined evil solution initiated by treasonous gov't1. O-Fuck-U-Care was created to steal everything we had while failing to be "good" healthcare.2. Public cries out for another fix.3. And if Hitlery had won the election the Demo-scums and RINO's would already be plopping their "new" bill (written a very long time ago) on Hitlery's desk to switch us to their single-payer death trap Medicare for all system.That woulda been checkmate, folks, and we never could have stopped it.  Trump is a major road-block to this plan, but he won't be around forever, so I have no doubt that this mafia "government" will eventually get single-payer instituted.  It's just going to take several more years than they had planned.  But they will eventually overrun the country with enough 3rd wolders to get all the "votes" they need to finish what O-Traitor started.

In reply to by hedgeless_horseman

El Gringo hedgeless_horseman Wed, 11/08/2017 - 10:27 Permalink

Right you are.  The problem I have with libertarians though is that they think they're going to win over a bunch of women, jews, niggers, wetbacks, faggot freaks, etc.  We're going to need some serious authoritarianism in order to cleanse the nation our forefathers conquered in order to remove the degeneracy that caused the original republic to fail.   

In reply to by hedgeless_horseman

hedgeless_horseman GoyimUprising Wed, 11/08/2017 - 11:09 Permalink

 Wow!  You sound like a truly amazing person.Can you please provide us a list of your tyrannical opponents and the outcome of your fights?Also, if you have any wealth, can you teach us how you obtained it in altruistic ways?I, for one, would like to learn from your knowledge and experience.Just reply below.  Plenty of space on the page.  No reason to hold back.  Thanks in advance!

In reply to by GoyimUprising

pods Billy the Poet Wed, 11/08/2017 - 12:17 Permalink

Yep, that is how dictatorships happen.Nobody will take power like that and then simply give it back.  I can see how how they say dictators often are well liked, and they have the support of the people until history looks back at them. Germany for instance.If we ever had a ruler that could undo all of the usurpations by themselves, we would be in much worse shape than having a powerless ruler.pods

In reply to by Billy the Poet

mkkby Billy the Poet Wed, 11/08/2017 - 16:26 Permalink

Billy, you sound like a clueless rube.

Fedgov doesn't need our support. The fed prints all the money they need to keep buying those t-bonds. The welfare queens are now more than 50% of the vote.

The system is self sustaining until the dollar dies. We can argue about when that happens if you like, but the dollar is not going away until either the yen or euro crash and recover.

In reply to by Billy the Poet

alfaafla Billy the Poet Wed, 11/08/2017 - 12:57 Permalink

I look at it as a fancy way of saying that when you're in a life and death situation, making rational decisions and necessarilly evaluating options isn't the first thing that comes to mind.   If you extend your own statement and sentiment, you're basically saying that people don't need to rely on fire departments because they can solve the problem in the market themselves. It's a dumb idea. 

In reply to by Billy the Poet

Billy the Poet alfaafla Wed, 11/08/2017 - 13:07 Permalink

My town of 4400 has three volunteer fire departments.  People can voluntarily mitigate future risk despite your contention that they must submit to slavery in order to be safe. It's a dumb idea. I look at it as a fancy way of saying that when you're in a life and death situation, making rational decisions and necessarilly evaluating options isn't the first thing that comes to mind. Has it come to mind that when you rely on people who don't know you or care about you in life and death situations you leave your ass hanging out? Or do you just stand on the sidelines saying, "You're doing a heck of a job, Brownie?"

In reply to by alfaafla