Sinead Hunt: Barnard 2020

In December 2017, the Trump administration eliminated the tax penalties associated with the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, repealing the requirement that Americans maintain health insurance. This short-sighted federal policy is likely to destabilize individual healthcare
markets across the country through adverse selection. In the absence of a federal individual mandate, young, healthy enrollees are predicted to exit the actuarial risk pool, inflating exchange premiums across the nation. State policymakers can and must take action to prevent the demise of individual healthcare markets. By instituting state-based individual mandates, state legislatures can forestall the departure of low-risk consumers from individual healthcare markets and maintain healthcare affordability for all enrollees. This is especially important in New York’s state-based marketplace since prior to the ACA individual mandate, millions of New Yorkers were uninsurable due to preexisting health conditions. Without a state-based individual mandate, millions of New Yorkers could lose access to affordable health insurance.

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