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Camp to Offer Repeal of Democrats’ Requirement Forcing Americans to Buy Health Insurance

June 15, 2010

Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Ranking Member Dave Camp (R-MI) will offer a proposal on the House floor to repeal the requirement forcing Americans to buy government-approved health insurance (the “individual mandate”).

“The American people have been speaking out in opposition to the Democrats’ health bill which forces them to choose between paying a new tax or purchasing health insurance that they may not want or be able to afford. With each day that goes by, more bad news about this health care bill comes to light.  Just yesterday, the Obama Administration estimated that as many as two out of three Americans would no longer be able to keep the health coverage they currently have.  The recently enacted health care law is bad for workers, bad for employers and bad for America. Congress should listen to the American people and repeal and replace this law with common sense reforms that will actually lower health care costs and let Americans keep the plan they have and like.”

Background: The Republican Motion to Recommit will repeal the individual mandate.

  • The federal government has never required its citizens to purchase a particular product before, and doing so with health insurance violates basic principles of freedom and individual choice. (Note, in fact, that the underlying bill exempts illegal immigrants from both the mandate and the new taxes for not having government-approved coverage.)
  • Twenty states and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) filed a lawsuit arguing that the mandate is unconstitutional.
  • The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that in 2016, the individual mandate tax penalty will fall hardest on middle- and low-income Americans – over 75% of Americans who pay this tax will have household incomes below 500% of the Federal Poverty Level (roughly $73,000 for a married couple with no children).
  • As the Democrats’ health care law increases health premiums (up to 13% higher, on average, for families without insurance from their employers, according to CBO), it will become more and more unaffordable for American families to comply with the mandate.
  • Repealing the mandate may reduce the need to hire thousands of additional IRS employees – possibly as many as 16,500 – to enforce the new health care law.
  • According to CBO, repealing the individual mandate reduces the deficit by $252 billion, because if individuals are not forced to buy insurance, they also will not be forced to accept taxpayer-funded subsidies to help them afford that insurance.