By Jonathan Easley - 12/30/13 11:07 AM EST
Howard Dean said Monday that the healthcare law didn’t need to include the individual mandate to work, and warned it will end up hurting Democrats in the next election.
The former Vermont governor and former Democratic presidential candidate acknowledged that the mandate was an incentive for young and healthy consumers to participate in the markets, but said the law could survive without it.
“The truth is, that wasn’t necessary, and the insurance companies like it because it does bring young, healthy people who aren’t likely to get sick into the system,” Dean said.
Insurance industry officials have argued that the mandate is necessary to ensure premium collections are sufficient to cover claims. They also say the mandate is needed to keep premiums steady by achieving the right balance between high-risk consumers and young and healthy consumers.