(Dan Mangan, CNBC) The Trump administration reportedly has prepared an executive order that would effectively gut Obamacare’s requirement that most Americans have health insurance — but is holding off on it to see if the repeal of that mandate will be included in the new Republican tax reform bill.
The purported executive order would make it administration policy to not collect tax penalties from people who fail to have health coverage during the year, according to the Washington Examiner, which first reported the order.
The mandate effectively compels millions of people to buy individual health plan coverage from Obamacare exchanges.
If the penalty attached to the mandate disappears, many health people might drop their coverage, leaving the exchange plans heavier with sicker people who have high medical bills.
That in turn would lead to ever-increasing insurance premiums, and further customer defections, a phenomenon known as a death spiral.
House Speaker Paul Ryan told Fox News on Sunday that the repeal of the ACA’s so-called individual mandate might be included in the GOP’s tax bill.
The Washington Examiner, citing an unnamed Republican senator, said that Trump decided not to sign his executive order on the mandate, for now, after hearing that Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., was proposing to repeal the individual mandate in the tax bill.
Such a repeal would make it clear the mandate is no longer the law of the land.