Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton defended the idea of the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act being repealed through the tax reform process because it’s a step lawmakers must take to end President Obama’s harmful policies.
The junior Republican senator said repealing the individual mandate would have “no impact” on people who want to get health insurance. Instead, it would simply ensure people who can’t afford health insurance won’t get fined, he said.
The theory behind the individual mandate is that it forces young, healthy people to buy health insurance and their participation in the marketplace ensures costs will stay down for older, sicker people.
“We need to solve the problems that Obama made worse,” Cotton said on CBS' "Face The Nation."
“We worked over the summer, we failed, I wish that wasn't the case but we have a tax bill now that will repeal the most hated and unpopular the individual mandate, which is no more than a tax on working families and poor Americans. I hope next year we return to healthcare, but I’m focused on this tax bill.”
When asked if that could end up causing a tax increase on some individuals who are receiving health insurance through government exchanges, Cotton said that’s a choice people will have to make.
He said the tax reform package will lead to lower income tax rates for individuals, but their choices will ultimately determine how much money they pay.
“Every income group under the Senate bill will see a tax cut,” he said. “Now, if you voluntarily choose not to get your insurance through Obamacare premiums then the federal government will not be paying tax subsidy, not to you individually but insurance company. That's a result of voluntary choice that you make based on your own family's needs and finances.”