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Health Policy Updates: December 16 2017

With the reconciliation tax bill headed towards passage, it looks like the individual mandate may be done for.

In the lead-up, I had heard conflicting reports of how the repeal of the individual mandate would affect the rest of Obamacare going forward – everything from “meh” to “instant death spiral.” A couple of resources to get a handle on where we are at:

  1. Julie Rovner’s “What the Health” podcast at Kaiser focused on mandate repeal this week.
  2. Sarah Kliff addressed the question in a recent article.

“Economists roundly expect premiums to rise if the individual mandate disappears, as healthier people exit the market, leaving behind a sicker, more expensive insurance pool. Some Americans may gladly exit the marketplace, happy to no longer pay insurance premiums. But there would also be those who exit unwillingly, people who want to buy coverage but cannot afford the rising cost of health insurance.”

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