Individual Mandate More Like Suggested Donation

Philip Betbeze, February 1, 2013

What's the point of issuing individual mandate rules, as the White House did this week? Of course it has to be done by statute, but what does the sound and fury signify? Apparently not much.

Through a pair of documents, one from the IRS and one from the Department of Health and Human Services , the Obama administration has issued a set of proposed rules surrounding one of the most controversial parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for public hearing.

The most surprising news about the proposed rules is that it appears exemptions built into them for enforcing the individual mandate are so permissive that only 2% of the population would owe a penalty.

Wait a second. I thought that by the time of the passage of the PPACA in 2010, 46 million people were uninsured. That number was heatedly disputed then, but even taken as fact, it represents about one sixth of the total United States population of about 313 million, or around 17%.

Since most of the provisions surrounding the health insurance portion of the law won't go into effect until next year, the number of uninsured must be at least as high now.

Philip Betbeze

Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders Media.

Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
Twitter icon