Repealing the individual mandate means from 2019 forward there is no fee for not getting covered. This can be good for those who don’t want coverage, but will likely raise costs for everyone else.
The reality is, the unpopular provision was an important aspect of the ACA. The fee was the incentive for the young and healthy to participate in the market. Without the mandate or an alternative mechanism (like those proposed in the un-passed GOP bills), there is no incentive for healthy people to pay the already out of control healthcare costs. Thus, healthy people who don’t think they need healthcare are likely not to pay, thus insurers will be left covering those who need care and won’t be able to pad costs via those who don’t need as much care. This would then increase costs for everyone left in the pool.
The result is that tax payers will pay more to subsidize those who get subsidies (as costs will be higher, but will be capped for individuals who qualify based on income via tax credits) and it will result in employers and individuals spending more on healthcare (since they bare the fully cost of insurance).
Essentially it makes life a little easy for those who don’t need health insurance, and puts more of a burden on everyone else.
It isn’t simple, it isn’t black and white, and there are pros and cons… however, repealing the mandate is likely to have some serious ramifications and oddly, it is likely to result in even more need of healthcare reform.
This was foreseen by almost everyone in healthcare, including many conservatives, and this is why even the most strict GOP repeal plans provided an alliterative mechanism.
When Trump by executive order repealed the mandate he declared ObamaCare repealed, however it is not and given that it is not, “nibbling at the sides” like this is likely to cause some major issues later this year when insurers start pricing plans for 2019 open enrollment.