Mitch McConnell’s “Skinny Repeal” Could Still Mean 15 Million Fewer With Insurance

Even the pared-back last-ditch effort in the Senate would see more uninsured and higher premiums.

Ron Sachs/Zuma

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is readying a vote on a health care bill this afternoon—even though no one is quite sure what bill they’re actually going to be voting on. But according to NBC reporters, McConnell has settled on a new backup plan if his preferred bills fail, known as a “skinny repeal” of the Affordable Care Act. Don’t be fooled by that seemingly benign moniker. While less sweeping than past bills put forward by Republicans, this skinny plan would still cause major problems in the health insurance market.

Since McConnell is rushing this through at the last minute without any public hearings, it’s unclear what exactly would be in the skinny plan, but it would reportedly include a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual and employer mandates and medical device tax.

The Congressional Budget Office has already taken a look at what would happen if the individual mandate is wiped out, and the results aren’t pretty. The CBO expects that by 2026, 15 million more people would lack insurance than under current law. And the people who do still buy insurance through the individual marketplaces would face premiums about 20 percent higher than under current law. (Repealing the employer mandate could change these calculations, although the impact would probably not be as large as with the individual mandate.)

But the CBO does expect that ending the individual mandate could produce savings for the government, primarily from fewer people signing up for Medicaid. 

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate