The meltdown of the Obamacare mandate
by: J. D. Heyes
Friday, February 07, 2014
To say that the roll-out of Obamacare is not going well is perhaps the understatement of the year. But even more than that, those who predicted that the law would ultimately collapse on itself might have been prophetic.
In particular, the “individual mandate” – the part of the law that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld as a “tax” and which requires, for the first time in U.S. history, that Americans be forced to buy a product or service – is failing miserably.
According to public policy experts James C. Capretta and Jeffrey H. Anderson, writing recently in the New York Post, the Obama administration is finding out that it is harder than they expected to get Americans – especially the healthy, young Americans necessary to fund older, sicker Americans – to buy insurance, leaving many to wonder if the mandate will actually survive:
Last month, the administration announced that anyone with a canceled 2013 individual insurance plan would be exempt from the “individual-responsibility requirement” this year, and would be allowed to buy the catastrophe-only insurance previously offered to those age 30 or under.
This exemption is likely only the first of many. How, for one, can the administration exempt people who had insurance last year but not exempt people who were uninsured because they couldn’t afford coverage?
The penalty (er, tax) is a better buy