In a joint letter, the AMA and other major health industry stakeholders—the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Hospital Association, Federation of American Hospitals, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and America’s Health Insurance Plans—urged Congressional leaders “to maintain the individual mandate unless and until Congress can enact a package of reforms to adequately assure a balanced risk pool and prevent extraordinary premium increases.”
“Broad and sustained enrollment contributes to affordable coverage as costs are shared across a larger pool of individuals,” the letter says. “Repealing the individual mandate without a workable alternative will reduce enrollment, further destabilizing an already fragile individual and small group health insurance market on which more than 10 million Americans rely.”
The individual mandate is “one of the primary incentives” individuals have to enroll in coverage under the current law, the letter says. Scrapping the mandate would, by itself, likely lead to much higher premiums which would, in turns, raise the number of Americans without health coverage.
“There will be serious consequences if Congress simply repeals the mandate while leaving the insurance reforms in place,” the joint letter concludes. “Let’s work together on solutions that deliver the access, care and coverage that the American people deserve.”
For more on the AMA’s vision for health reform, visit Patients Before Politics.