Notice & Comment

“The tradeoff here is both simple and brutal.”

“Republicans want to pay for a permanent corporate tax by taking insurance from millions of people. Is that who we are as a nation?”

That’s the end of my latest op-ed in the Washington Post. Here’s the beginning.

To finesse the tricky politics and brutal math of tax reform, Senate Republicans now say that they want to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. For Republicans, repeal would be a trifecta: a blow to Obamacare, a money-saver for the federal government and a way to finance a permanent cut to the corporate tax rate.

Republicans are right about all of this. What they haven’t highlighted, however, are the tradeoffs: the estimated 13 million people who will lose insurance if the mandate is repealed. Is the country really better off if millions of people forgo medical care, and millions more go bankrupt, so that corporations can pay lower taxes? That’s not a rhetorical question. Those are the stakes of the game.

It’s actually worse than my op-ed suggests. In a smart post, Bob Laszewski explains why eliminating the mandate while loosening the restrictions on short-term plans “would be devastating for those in the unsubsidized middle class who would not be able to afford coverage once they got sick.”


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