individual mandate

Team Trump Says Administration’s Action On Health Care ‘Is Working.’ Is It?

Jan 14, 2020


With the 2020 election months away, President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign is touting his health care record as a key reason voters should grant him another term.

The fate of the Affordable Care Act is again on the line Tuesday, as a federal appeals court in New Orleans takes up a case in which a lower court judge has already ruled the massive health law unconstitutional.

As congressional Republicans and the Trump administration keep chipping away at the Affordable Care Act, a number of states are enacting laws that aim to safeguard its central provisions.

The GOP tax plan approved by Congress in the last days of 2017 repealed the ACA penalty for people who fail to carry health insurance, a provision called the individual mandate.

But before that federal change happens next year, some states are working to preserve the effects of the mandate by creating their own versions of it.

With the end of open enrollment for health coverage looming March 31, some of the uninsured may be planning to stay that way, hoping they won't get sick or injured. But remember the "individual mandate"? The day of reckoning is near.

Those who are over the poverty line and who don't enroll in a health plan by the end of the month will be in violation of the Affordable Care Act and will have to pay a penalty at tax time in 2015. The amount is about 1 percent of income, but it depends on several factors, including family size.

Lake Worth-based consultant Paul Gionfriddo writes at his blog Our Health Policy Matters this week that Congress should leave its paws off the Affordable Care Act, rather than add to the list of compromises that have already weakened the law.

More than 1 million low-income uninsured in Florida are spared from paying any penalty for not having health coverage under the Affordable Care Act as of Jan. 1, according to the rules issued this week by the Obama administration.

Finding uninsured people and helping them enroll in health plans through the new online marketplace -- set to open Oct. 1 -- will be hard. If they don't speak English, it will likely be harder still.

It presents an extra hurdle in states like California, Texas and Florida, as Kaiser Health News reports.