Nine states are considering instituting their own healthcare mandates less than two months after Congress repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate as part of their tax overhaul package. Proposals being considered in California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington, as well as the District of Columbia, would require residents, by law, to purchase health insurance.
The Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law known as Obamacare required adults to purchase health insurance or pay a fine. Proponents said that mandate was necessary to ensure that younger, healthier people participate in health insurance pools. That, in turn, keeps premiums lower for all beneficiaries. Critics of the law, however, have called the mandate a prime example of big government abusing its power.
The proposals to institute similar laws on the state level marks a shift in healthcare leadership from the federal government to states. “The federal government has just stalled. They don’t accomplish the basics, and that leaves states with a great opportunity to step up and craft policy,” Connecticut state Democratic Rep. Sean Scanlon, said.