The Huffington Post asked health insurance companies, including L.A. Care, to assess the impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate in "Health Insurers See Higher Prices And A Big Mess Ahead Without The Obamacare Mandate."
L.A. Care CEO John Baackes talked about how eliminating the mandate would force increases in premiums, a viewpoint shared by all fifteen companies that talked to the Post.
"It will lead to higher prices for the people that are left," Baackes said. "They’re going to get screwed."
As the House and Senate work on the final version of the tax reform bill, a major concern is that the Senate's proposal to end the tax penalties associated with the ACA's individual mandate will remain.
The mandate is critical to ensuring that the ACA Exchanges have a larger, healthier pool of insured individuals that will keep costs down for everyone. Baackes cited last year's increase in enrollment when the minimum penalty rose from $95 to $695 last year as an example of the mandate's importance. "It does motivate people," he said.
About L.A. Care Health Plan
L.A. Care Health Plan is a public entity and community-accountable health plan serving residents of Los Angeles County through a variety of health coverage programs including L.A. Care Covered™, Medi-Cal, L.A. Care Cal MediConnect Plan and PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Health Care Plan. L.A. Care is a leader in developing new programs through innovative partnerships designed to provide health coverage to vulnerable populations and to support the safety net. With more than 2 million members, L.A. Care is the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan.