Republican senators are going to include a repeal of Obamacare’s individual mandate in the revised version of their tax plan. This measure was added at the request of Rand Paul.
This means, if the tax bill passes in its current form, the requirement to get coverage under the Affordable Care Act will be lifted. This is good for those who don’t want coverage but will likely increase costs on those who need coverage as fewer healthy people will be in the market.
Even eliminating individual mandates will do little to make health insurance affordable since high deductible plans have already flooded the market and the out-of-pocket cost of healthcare has increased dramatically over the last decade.
A move like this would ideally be paired with universal catastrophic coverage, but this is a tax bill, not a health reform bill, so a medical policy like that will have to wait. In the meantime, this, along with a recent Trump executive order, will allow more people to shift to low-benefit low-cost plans that aren’t considered “minimum essential coverage” under the ACA.