Carrots vs Sticks: How Best to Replace the Individual Mandate

The individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act required people to have health insurance and fined people who did not comply. A provision of the 2017 tax reconciliation bill, discussed here, maintained the original mandate but abolished fines for its violation starting with the 2019 tax year. The repeal of fines for lack of health insurance impacts the number of people with health insurance coverage, the price of insurance, the number of people with inadequate health coverage, the viability of state exchange health insurance markets, and the legal…