The GOP-passed tax cut bill will not toss people off health insurance despite left-wing claims, says a health policy analyst.
The individual mandate is included in the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and requires virtually everyone living legally in the United States to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty.
"If it is repealed, 13 million fewer Americans will have health insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)," warned Josh Bivens of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) in a Forbes article this month.
The left-wing website Vox made a similar argument in a November article, predicting "13 million more uninsured" if the GOP tax bill repealed the individual mandate.
Health policy analyst Bob Moffit of The Heritage Foundation says CBO never claimed that people will lose coverage
"What CBO said was that by repealing the mandate, roughly 13 million people fewer people over the next 10 years would not have coverage because they would voluntarily decide not to buy or to enroll in health insurance coverage in various health insurance markets," Moffit tells OneNewsNow.
"CBO has never said," he adds, "that people are going to 'lose their coverage' or be thrown out of coverage."
Projections of 13 million fewer people having coverage are based on CBO projections about how many people will actually sign up over the next 10 years under the current law.
"They have been wildly off, by the way, with regards to their own coverage estimates," he advises. "And that's just a fact."
Meanwhile, The Heritage Foundation remains in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act in its entirety.
"There's different ways of going about it," says Moffitt, "but the repeal of the individual mandate does nothing to fix the health insurance markets."
That market is "badly damaged" this year, he says, after a 25-percent jump in premiums and deductibles as high as $12,000, with a collapse of competition, too.
According to Moffit, there were 395 insurers selling coverage in the individual market in 2013 and, next year, that number is expected to be 181 offering coverage.