California Considers Implementing Individual Mandate
By Jake Grant
The California Legislature is considering an individual mandate that would effectively force young, healthy Californians to purchase health insurance . . .
Sally Pipes, Pacific Research Institute’s president, CEO, and Thomas W. Smith Fellow in Health Care Policy, says California legislators might pass the individual mandate in the upcoming legislative session.
“With the Democrats having a super majority in the state Assembly and Senate, it is possible that California may pass and Gov. Newsom may sign an individual mandate,” Pipes said. “This would be disastrous for those in the individual market.”
Pipes says the arguments proponents of the government mandate make are fundamentally flawed.
“Obamacare’s proponents claim that state-level individual mandates would compel young and healthy people to buy coverage through the exchanges,” Pipes said. “This, they say, would ensure a healthy risk pool and prevent insurers from leaving the exchanges or drastically hiking premiums. Their assertions are divorced from reality. The last four years of Obamacare have proven that even a government directive hasn’t compelled the young and healthy to buy insurance they can’t afford. The resulting massive premium hikes have priced millions out of the insurance market altogether. That’s why 55 percent of Americans supported repealing the individual mandate in the 2017 tax reform law, a popular provision in an otherwise-unpopular law.”
Taxes, Taxes, Taxes
Pipes says the mandate would be little more than a tax hike with no benefit to consumers.
“Reinstating the mandate at the state level would effectively be a tax hike on poor and working-class Californians,” Pipes said. “It would pick the pockets of millions of Californians who already can’t afford coverage under Obamacare—without stabilizing the insurance market.”