Johanns amendment would have weakened individual mandate

Sen. Mike Johanns's (R-Neb.) amendment to eliminate the healthcare reform law's 1099 reporting provision for businesses would have "seriously" weakened the requirement that people buy insurance starting in 2014, the left-wing Center on Budget and Policy Priorities said.

The amendment failed to clear the cloture-vote hurdle Tuesday morning, 46 to 52.

"While the Affordable Health Act would allow some people to remain uninsured without incurring a penalty, the Johanns amendment would allow many more to do so, meaning that fewer people would receive federal subsidies to help them buy coverage," the center writes.

"This would reduce federal costs for these subsidies, but at the price of increasing the number of uninsured people by 2 million (relative to what would occur under the health reform law), driving up premiums by as much as 4 percent for people with coverage through the new health insurance exchanges (because the pool of people in the exchanges would be less healthy, on average), and raising the cost to health care providers and state and local governments of providing health care to the uninsured."