Is 'losing insurance' calculation based on removal of individual mandate?

NY Times:

Health Bill Is in Peril as G.O.P. Support Wanes After Report

  • Senators Susan Collins and Rand Paul said they would vote against even debating the measure after the Congressional Budget Office said it would cause 22 million people to lose insurance.
  • Senator Mitch McConnell, the chief author of the bill, must change the minds of reluctant Republicans, withdraw the bill or let it be defeated.
I suspect the removal of the individual mandate, i.e. the tax on those who do not buy insurance, is the main reason for the "loss of coverage" calculation.  I think the Senate has replaced this with a penalty that gives people an incentive to buy insurance without the regressive tax imposed by Obamacare.  If that is the case the Republicans have not been able to break through the media hostility to their plan to explain it.

As Reason points out in the link above the mandate has been replaced:
Instead of a fine for going uncovered, as in Obamacare, the Senate GOP bill now includes a continuous coverage provision: Anyone who goes without coverage for more than 63 days must wait six months before getting coverage again. The goal, as with the mandate, is to create an incentive for health people to buy coverage and maintain it, by penalizing if they don't.
This is to stop the practice of using the people waiting until they get sick to buy coverage because of the removal of the preexisting condition provisions of most policies.   I think it is an improvement that should slow the growth in premiums caused by Obamacare.  Whether the GOP can break through the media hostility to the plan to make the point will be a key to passing it.


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