Does the GOP Tax Bill kill Obamacare?

By Alexis Alex

Well, today is the day. The GOP has officially passed their tax overhaul bill. No matter your opinion the bill, we will begin to see the effects of the bill immediately in 2018. In his cabinet meeting today, Trump stated within this tax victory the GOP has repealed Obamacare, “When the individual mandate is being repealed, that means ObamaCare is being repealed,” He continues, “We have essentially repealed ObamaCare and we will come up with something much better.”  What does this mean? Has the GOP really repealed the Affordable Care Act once and for all?

The answer is yes and no. The Affordable Care Act has not been officially repealed, people will still be able to purchase insurance through individual marketplaces, Medicaid expansion will not be effect, and consumer protections are still in tact. But, the GOP tax bill gets rid of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate by eliminating the penalty for not having health care coverage. This means that people will no longer by penalized for not having health care insurance. The cost of the penalty for not having health coverage in 2017 was $695 per adult and $347.50 per child, or 2.5% of one's household income. This penalty encourages more people to obtain coverage, thus keeping competition among insurers high and premiums affordable and stable. Without this penalty, more people will choose to stay uninsured or drop out of their plan, making competition low among insurers and causing premiums to go up about 10%, according to analysts. It is predicted that the elimination of the penalty will cause 4 million more people to be uninsured in 2019 and 13 million in 2027. The lowering of competition will also encourage more insurers to drop out of the Affordable Care Act because of the loss in demand causing people to have fewer insurance options in addition to higher premiums within the Act. Therefore, we can see that although the Affordable Care Act has not officially be destroyed, this GOP tax bill is taking away an important piece of the puzzle the Affordable Care Act needs to function. Overall, this tax bill will lead to more people being uninsured and people with health insurance paying higher premiums as a result. This is the America that the GOP wants folks, enjoy! 

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