The new tax bill has been approved by Congress and now it sits on President Donald Trump’s desk, waiting to be signed. It is expected to be signed by him without any changes, as he keeps praising the work of the Republicans on this particular matter. But it seems that President Trump misunderstood certain aspects of the bill, saying that “when the individual mandate is being repealed, that means Obamacare is being repealed.”
“We have essentially repealed Obamacare, and we will come up with something much better.”
According to the Huffington Post, this is clearly not the case. Obamacare is still alive as the law still remains despite Republican efforts to effectively repeal it earlier in the year. Without being able to kill Obamacare completely, they have been coming up with ways to weaken it, and the elimination of the individual mandate is one of them.
The individual mandate states that people who don’t have insurance throughout the entire calendar year would be subject to a fine when they file their taxes.
Although the intention of the Republicans was not necessarily to repeal or weaken Obamacare with the new tax bill, the $1.5 trillion tax cut would result in insurmountable loss for the government, so they were forced to look for money elsewhere. Eliminating the individual mandate would save the government approximately $338 billion.
While the elimination of the individual mandate on the new tax bill will definitely worsen the insurance markets, it doesn’t repeal the rest — more important — provisions of Obamacare. Protection for pre-existing conditions and tax credits for self-insured people, among others, are still very much in effect.
Of course, this “repeal” is not something Donald Trump wants to talk about in public because of fake news.
“We didn’t want to bring it up. I told people specifically, ‘Be quiet with the fake news media,’ because I don’t want them talking too much about it.”
Even though the individual mandate wasn’t one of the more popular dispositions of the law, it did allow for other dispositions — like children staying on their parents’ insurance until age 26 — to function properly. So while this might be a blow to the health program, Obamacare is still alive.