House Republicans Consider Repeal of Obamacare’s Insurance Mandate

House Republicans are looking to repeal an ObamaCare requirement that all Americans have insurance or pay a penalty.

An appropriations bill approved last week by the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government includes language that no funding should be used by the IRS to “implement or enforce” ObamaCare’s individual mandate.

The development was first reported by The New York Times on Monday.

A spokesman for Rep. Tom Graves(R-Ga.), the chairman of the subcommittee, told the newspaper that the language would stop the IRS from “implementing the harmful individual mandate” and help “provide relief for the families suffering under ObamaCare.”

The current penalty for not having insurance is either a percentage of a household income above the IRS filing threshold or a flat dollar amount, whichever is greater.

According to an example provided by the IRS, an unmarried individual with no children making $40,000 a year would owe $695 for not having insurance in 2017.

Approximately 6.5 million taxpayers paid $3 billion for not having insurance in 2015, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen wrote in a letter to Congress earlier this year.

The average payment was about $470.

But repealing the mandate without replacing it with another mechanism aimed at encouraging people to buy insurance could increase premiums for older and sicker people, the Congressional Budget Office said in an analysis last month.

The Senate’s healthcare plan would also repeal the individual mandate, as well as the Medicaid expansion and several ObamaCare taxes implemented to help pay for the law.

It would also downsize the tax credits people get to buy insurance.

The plan currently doesn’t have the votes needed to pass the upper chamber.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) needs at least 50 votes to pass the bill, but moderate Republicans are concerned about coverage losses and conservatives say it doesn’t go far enough in repealing Obamacare.

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