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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

It's Not A Tumor!

Nor is this a mandate:

The plan that House Republicans unveiled Monday night says people who go without coverage will have to pay a penalty. But wait ― that sounds an awful lot like you are mandated to buy insurance or else pay a penalty.

The staff at the Republican Study Committee, an influential group of House conservatives, picked up on the inconsistency ― or, more accurately, the consistency. The committee notes the similarity in a report circulated Monday night and obtained by The Huffington Post.

Continuous Coverage Incentive: The bill also includes a requirement that insurers charge a 30% penalty on any individual who had a lapse in coverage of over two months at any point in the 12 months prior to starting a new insurance policy. Some may describe this provision as akin to the individual mandate, though, to be clear, it does not require an individual to purchase insurance. Rather, it penalizes anyone who chose not to do so, but later decides to purchase, and allows insures to keep the funds from such penalties.

So the Republican plan doesn’t mandate buying coverage, but “penalizes anyone who chose not to do so.” That’s exactly what the current mandate does: Nobody is forced at gunpoint to buy insurance. They are perfectly free to choose not to do so and to pay a tax penalty instead. The only difference between former President Barack Obama’s plan and House Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan is that patients must pay their penalty directly to insurers rather than to the government. 

A Ryan aide explained their version of the difference, calling the penalty a “surcharge”...

It's just a suggestion to pay corporations, with a penalty paid to corporations for not following the suggestion.


March 7, 2017 | Permalink


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