Repealing Obamacare was a lynchpin of Donald Trump’s successful Presidential campaign.
Many questioned if he would be able to make good on his pledge.
One of his first actions in office gutted Obamacare in a major way.
Trump signed an executive order instructing the IRS not to enforce the mandate, penalties, and taxes associated with Obamacare.
Many assumed it was just a symbolic gesture to give the appearance of keeping a key promise.
But a close examination revealed Trump actually gutted Obamacare.
“Following President Donald Trump’s executive order instructing agencies to provide relief from the health law, the Internal Revenue Service appears to be taking a more lax approach to the coverage requirement.
The health law’s individual mandate requires everyone to either maintain qualifying health coverage or pay a tax penalty, known as a “shared responsibility payment.” The IRS was set to require filers to indicate whether they had maintained coverage in 2016 or paid the penalty by filling out line 61 on their form 1040s. Alternatively, they could claim exemption from the mandate by filing a Form 8965.
For most filers, filling out line 61 would be mandatory. The IRS would not accept 1040s unless the coverage box was checked, or the shared responsibility payment noted, or the exemption form included. Otherwise, they would be labeled “silent returns” and rejected.
Instead, however, filling out that line will be optional.
Earlier this month, the IRS quietly altered its rules to allow the submission of 1040s with nothing on line 61. The IRS says it still maintains the option to follow up with those who elect not to indicate their coverage status, although it’s not clear what circumstances might trigger a follow-up.
But what would have been a mandatory disclosure will instead be voluntary. Silent returns will no longer be automatically rejected. The change is a direct result of the executive order President Donald Trump issued in January directing the government to provide relief from Obamacare to individuals and insurers, within the boundaries of the law.”
When the order was signed, some saw it for what it was.
Judge Andrew Napolitano called it “revolutionary” because it instructed the government to favor the individual over the state.
Without the individual mandate, Obamacare collapses.
The legislation depends on young and healthy individuals being forced into the insurance pool in order to buy coverage they are unlikely to use in order to subsidize the cost of insuring older and sicker Americans.
Trump’s executive order guts the enforcement mechanism of Obamacare.
But the regulations and the government controls over health care plans can only be repealed by an act of Congress.
And so far the Republican-controlled House and Senate have been paralyzed by fear over repealing the law.
Neither chamber can agree on a replacement plan so no legislation has advanced to President Trump’s desk.
Will the Republican congress follow Trump’s lead and fulfill their seven-year promise to repeal Obamacare?