Trump Says He Just Repealed Obamacare. Is That True?

Christmas has come early for President Donald Trump. Nearly a year into his administration, he finally has his first major legislative victory in the tax reform bill, plus it carries with the added bonus of damaging the Affordable Care Act.

“Obamacare has been repealed in this bill,” Trump told the press, trying to take credit for a legislative twofer. But is he correct in that assessment?

Not exactly. More precisely, the tax bill, which has officially passed both halves of Congress and now awaits Trump’s eager signature, effectively gets rid of the ACA’s individual mandate.

In brief, the individual mandate is the oft-debated requirement that most Americans obtain a certain level of health care insurance or risk paying a fine. The individual mandate is not repealed as Trump said, but starting in 2019 will no longer carry a financial penalty, which will disincentivize people from following the requirement.

That’s problematic for Obamacare because the entire reason for it is to ensure that people who won’t necessarily need to rely heavily on the coverage buy into the system. No insurance company would do well if only the sick and the elderly purchased it.

The CBO has already crunched the numbers on tossing aside the individual mandate and estimated it would lead to 13 million fewer Americans having the coverage within the next decade. The non-partisan office also anticipated premiums would have to increase by about 10 percent since the insurance pool would be less healthy in general.

In other words, the Affordable Care Act would get less affordable, particularly to those Americans living above the poverty line, since the poorest Americans have their premiums subsidized in other ways.

To make matters more infuriating, Trump seemed almost gleeful that he had pulled one over on the country. He said, “We didn’t want to bring [the individual mandate part] up. I told people specifically, ‘Be quiet with the fake news media because I don’t want them talking too much about it’ because I didn’t know how people would…”

Trump didn’t finish that thought, but he didn’t need to. After public outcry helped to block attempts to get rid of the individual mandate throughout 2017, Americans would not be on board. However, with all of the other problems the GOP tax legislation posed, it’s true that the individual mandate portion probably slid under the radar in the news this time.

Note how Trump still called the media “fake” while admitting he was the one who deceived the public by being less than forthcoming about his intentions.

Besides, Americans had been under the impression that the ACA would be safe since Senator Susan Collins got a promise from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that Congress would vote to stabilize the health care market before the year’s end in exchange for her vote on the tax plan.

Even before the vote, it became clear that the GOP had no intention of keeping that promise to Collins, but she voted for the tax plan anyway. Collins has called the criticism she’s received for her vote “unbelievably sexist“ even though it seems pretty clear the complaints are about not sticking to her deal and not her gender.

In summation, no matter what Trump has said, the ACA is not repealed. (It wouldn’t be the first time this autumn that he’s falsely claimed Obamacare to be dead.) Still, that doesn’t mean he’ll continue to try to chip away it until it’s rendered useless – expect more of that to come.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

53 comments

Marie W
Marie W4 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven9 months ago

Thank you.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven9 months ago

Thank you.

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Jerome S
Jerome S9 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S9 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y9 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Jack Y
Jack Y9 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Margaret G
Margaret Goodman9 months ago

Trump supporter Deborah W. seems to like the repeal of the individual mandate. Does Deborah W. also believe that automobile insurance should not be mandated?

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Mary B
Mary B9 months ago

Could it be, in his cruel back-assward way, that Trump, by removing the individual mandate ,just opened the opportunity to slip right in to universal Healthcare for all,paid for by the government, since no insurance company can survive with out a large pool of healthy people.It can't be run by privatized insurance or the rates will keep going up which is THE complaint that has been going on for decades. As far as rich people accepting money from corporations for speeches and contributions, that doesn't mean they're corrupt,That's just how rich people do things because it's easier than repeatedly asking for $27. contributions from low income people . You think you wouldn't be doing the same thing if you all could ? Does that make you corrupt ? Does being poor make you honorable ? Hell NO ! It's this capitalist economic system that force people into having to choose between a highly limited way to do everything BECAUSE of income inequality. This is NOT rocket science and it's time you stop demonizing money and rich people.

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E9 months ago

BTW, brian even IF Mr. Sanders WAS elected POTUS, MY bet is that even HE couldn't get medicare for all passed in the house or the senate and YOU KNOW that.
Worry about your pot legislation. Seems more along your line

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