The GOP’s new tax bill, which passed Congress on Wednesday afternoon after one last vote in the House of Representatives and will be signed by President Donald Trump, is also a health care bill. The tax bill does at least as much (if not more) to upend Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, than even all of the Trump administration’s thousand cuts to the health law over the past year by repealing the individual mandate.
Let’s be clear: repealing the individual mandate does not mean that Obamacare has been repealed in the GOP tax bill. The individual mandate, which requires most Americans (other than those who qualify for a hardship exemption) to carry a minimum level of health coverage, is actually still in effect for 2018—meaning that you may have to pay a steep tax fine if you don’t have health insurance.
Even after the individual mandate repeal goes into effect the following year, Obamacare’s individual insurance markets, federal subsidies to help Americans pay monthly insurance premiums, and Medicaid expansion in the dozens of states that implemented it will all still be in effect barring further Congressional action.
- Expect a tax break in 2019
- Shop and pay for the insurance coverage you need/want
- Get as little or as much insurance coverage without fear of penalty
- Expect more employers to start offering, offer better, or pay more of the total cost for insurance coverage for their employees