The Corner

Politics & Policy

Costs and Benefits

Dylan Scott starts a Vox article this way:

Senate Republicans are gambling that repealing Obamacare’s individual mandate will make the math work on their tax bill.

But the $340 billion in savings comes at a huge cost: 13 million fewer Americans are projected to have insurance in 2027, and premiums are expected to rise.

The fact that 13 million fewer people are projected to have health insurance without the mandate is not a cost of repealing the individual mandate; it is much closer to being a benefit. If the projection is right, then the vast majority of those 13 million people will be leaving the insurance rolls because they want to leave it. They are currently signing up for insurance only because the federal government fines people for not signing up. Ending the fines will leave them, by their own lights, ahead.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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