Tax bill guts ‘Obamacare’ insurance mandate

Voice of the People by James J. DevineRepublicans failed to repeal former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, but the tax bill barreling toward a final vote in Congress guts one critical provision of the Affordable Care Act, the requirement that virtually all Americans carry health insurance.

Republicans otherwise have little to show for all their rhetoric about repealing “Obamacare” but by crippling this one aspect of the law, they could cause a massive wreck in the industry sector that makes up about one-sixth of the nation’s economy.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that ending the mandate will lead to more people being uninsured, which would produce higher premiums for those buying individual health insurance policies.

Congress may ultimately find itself considering other ways to force people to get health insurance, but in the short term their action will only destabilize the market.

Republicans have released a final version of the tax overhaul, which ends the inheritance tax that not impacts only those who die leaving behind an estate valued more than $5.4 million.

It also lowers corporate tax rates to 20 percent, saving multinational businesses billions of dollars.

Consequently, individual workers are going to shoulder higher taxes to make up for the giveaways to the rich, but if the prospect of tax hikes on working people makes them sick, they might regret losing that insurance plan.


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