By John McManus, The McManus Group
When Congress enacted President Trump’s tax cut package in December 2017, it eliminated the tax on individuals who had failed to obtain health insurance (aka, the individual mandate penalty), and the Washington establishment predicted that provision would result in massive premium hikes and millions of more uninsured. The theory was that healthy and young people would cancel their insurance policies without the penalty.
Indeed, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected 13 million more uninsured including five million Medicaid enrollees in 2018. In my February 2018 column, I ridiculed this assumption, pointing out that no poor person would quit free healthcare due to an absence of a tax that never applied to them in the first place (because they are too poor to pay taxes).