By Twila Brase
One of the leading political headlines is the progress of tax reform and how it will impact both Americans and businesses.
But many fail to see how closely linked tax reform is to health care. The Affordable Care Act individual mandate, which forces Americans to purchase health insurance or face a penalty tax, has been called the largest and most egregious tax increase foisted on the American public:
“And if both the premium and the penalty are considered a tax, the mandate becomes the largest tax increase in U.S. history. And that doesn't include all of the other taxes imposed by the legislation,” reported Merrill Matthews in Forbes.
Yet, faced with the chance to repeal this costly mandate, leaders are wavering.
The House of Representatives did not even consider repealing the individual mandate in its version of the tax bill, and now some Senators seem to be waffling on including the mandate in its bill. Last week, CNN reported that the White House would drop the individual mandate repeal if it became an “impediment” to tax reform. To squander the chance to free Americans from this egregious tax would be a huge mistake and a missed opportunity to protect the American people from the ACA’s confiscation of their wages. Repealing the individual mandate would not only save Americans hundreds, potentially thousands, of dollars, but it would begin to restore health freedom to patients and doctors.
According to the Daily Signal, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has said eliminating the individual mandate would amount to the “destruction of the Affordable Care Act,” which would create a “life-or-death struggle for millions of American families.”
Millions of Americans are already struggling because of Obamacare, its compromised care and its skyrocketing premiums. Millions are going uninsured and paying the penalty because the premiums are unaffordable. Nancy Pelosi is right about one thing—the repeal of the individual mandate would implode Obamacare, which is why Congress and the White House must fight to keep the crucial repeal of the individual mandate as part of any tax reform bill.
Twila Brase is president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org), a Minnesota-based national organization dedicated to preserving patient-centered health care and protecting patient and privacy rights.