Health Insurance 'Mandate' Deemed Best Value for
THURSDAY, Feb. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Doing away with the U.S.
health care reform act's requirement that all Americans must have
health insurance would not dramatically increase the cost of buying
policies through new insurance exchanges, but would significantly
reduce the number of people who get insurance, according to
The findings from the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research
organization, are based on estimates created using a computer
model. The investigators found that eliminating the so-called
"individual mandate" would increase a person's cost of buying
insurance by 2.4 percent and reduce the number of Americans who
would get new health coverage in 2016 from 27 million to 15
"Our analysis suggests eliminating the individual mandate would sharply decrease coverage, but it would not send premiums into a 'death spiral' that would make health insurance unaffordable to those who do not qualify for government subsidies," study lead author Christine Eibner, an economist at RAND, said in a news release from the organization.
The analysis also found that repealing the individual mandate
would greatly increase the amount of government spending for each
person newly enrolled in a health insurance plan. The cost would
more than double, to $7,468 per person.
"The individual mandate is critical not only to achieving near-universal health care coverage among Americans, but also to yielding a high value in terms of federal spending to expand coverage," Eibner said. "Without the individual mandate, the government would have to spend more overall to insure a lot fewer people."
The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in March
about the constitutionality of requiring all Americans to obtain
The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality explains how
good value when choosing a health plan.
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