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Last year when he did it, a lot of people didn’t quite understand exactly what President Trump did when he made the tax penalty for Obamacare’s Individual Mandate $0, but its impact is about to be felt! With a single stroke of his mighty pen, President Trump repealed the fine in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), making it $0 starting in 2019. 

At the time, Trump said:

  1. “We eliminated an especially cruel tax that fell mostly on Americans making less than $50,000 a year — forcing them to pay tremendous penalties simply because they could not afford government-ordered health plans.”
  2. “We repealed the core of disastrous Obamacare — the individual mandate is now gone.”

Well. True. And, False.

As with most statements made by President Trump, there is some truth to these quotes but his description isn’t factual.

True. He did eliminate the tax penalty, making it $0. And that’s huge for Americans who can’t afford “qualified” healthcare or who prefer to seek alternative healthcare options not expressly approved by the ACA’s language.

False. The ACA is not repealed, the bill and the individual mandate remain in effect. But the ability to enforce the mandate is gone, rendering it powerless going forward (although many uncovered Americans had already signed on exchanges over the past several years).

What Does This Mean?

The truth is, mandated or not, 85% of Americans prefer having healthcare. With the Obamacare penalty gone, your opportunity to obtain affordable healthcare may be the best it’s been in years. New coverage options will emerge and Americans should benefit.

But, states are already grumbling and likely to try to create their own kind of ACA laws and penalties, similar to the Massachusetts Healthcare Reform, or Romneycare. We’ll have to see how this shakes out.

In the meantime, you can read more about this move by President Trump last year and the updated article about where this all stands posted just last week on the CNBC Blog.