The Obama administration last week announced it is lifting the mandate to buy insurance — as well as the penalty for not buying insurance — from those who had their individual coverage plans canceled this year. People in such a situation will be allowed by buy “catastrophic” health insurance plans, which were outlawed by the Affordable Care Act, and not be punished by a tax if they fail to purchase insurance.
The following statements from health care policy and legal experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution.
“The president’s latest decision to effectively exempt a portion of the American people from the individual mandate is the most egregious and unlawful step he has yet taken in the failed rollout of his health care law.
“By using the ‘hardship exemption’ loophole for those who have lost their insurance and are unable to sign up for subsidized coverage, the president is admitting the hardship he has caused millions of Americans by disrupting the existing health insurance market and eliminating insurance plans for countless Americans, offering them insurance that costs them more and offers narrower networks, disrupting the care of the sick and raising costs for millions.
“Expect this latest step to result in lawsuits from those who were not previously insured but want access to the same exemption from Obamacare – and really, who can blame them?”
Senior Fellow, Health Care Policy
The Heartland Institute
“The decision to grant ‘hardship’ waivers to millions of Americans losing their coverage as a result of Obamacare barely begins to correct the massive damage inflicted by Obamacare on an already troubled health care system. For political reasons the administration has chosen to grant special exemptions for some Americans, while others who also can’t find affordable coverage they want to buy are still subject to a tax for not purchasing insurance.
“While it’s unlikely that the Obama administration will grant similar hardship waivers to tens of millions of other Americans struggling under Obamacare, this decision has shown that a future president may be able to grant widespread waivers under the law. Hopefully this will be a focus of discussion during the 2016 presidential nomination and election process, and candidates will recognize it as an opportunity to effectively repeal the individual mandate through executive action.”
The Heartland Institute