Delaying Unpopular Individual Mandate Could Unravel Obamacare, Save $35.4 Billion

By Matt Vespa | September 24, 2013 | 3:23pm EDT

As Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) prepares for his filibuster of the Obamacare defunding bill that passed the House, the Urban Institute noted that delaying the individual mandate could actually "unravel" the entire Affordable Care Act.

Analysis by the non-partisan think tank shows that delaying the individual mandate would "cause serious disruption to the health-care system and make it difficult for President Obama's health-care overhaul to get back on track if the mandate were later put back in place."

The paper cites a Congressional Budget Office estimate that the delay would save the federal budget $35.4 billion over the next ten years.

Last month, a poll from the Morning Consult found that 77% of Americans want the Individual mandate to be delayed.  Broken down along party lines, 65% of Democrats agree - and 43% of them oppose the mandate outright.

Last August, Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel noted that the delay strategy could be more effective in combating the new health care law.  Why?

"The president himself has endorsed delay for key parts of the bill-the employer mandate, out-of-pocket-caps, income verification requirements. Unions, the bedrock of the liberal base, are demanding wholesale changes in the law. Vulnerable Senate Democrats know the ObamaCare exchanges are a pending disaster, and they are terrified of political fallout. Twenty-two House Democrats in July voted with Republicans to delay the individual mandate."

So, it seems a delay of the mandate could send Obamacare off its hinges, but the rest is up to Congress.

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