Trump may stop enforcing ObamaCare mandate, top aide says

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Kellyanne Conway, a top adviser to President Trump, said Sunday that the new administration may stop enforcing ObamaCare’s mandate that Americans have health insurance.

“He wants to get rid of that ObamaCare penalty almost immediately, because that is something that is really strangling a lot of Americans to have to pay a penalty for not buying [insurance],” Conway said on ABC’s “This Week.”

“So he’ll stop enforcing the mandate?” host George Stephanopoulos asked.

“He may,” Conway replied.

Conway’s comments come after Trump signed an executive order directing federal agencies to ease the “regulatory burden” of ObamaCare on individuals. While the order did not give any specifics, the administration could ease enforcement of the mandate requiring coverage.

{mosads}Under ObamaCare, the administration can grant “hardship” exemptions from the mandate, and the Trump administration could expand the use of those exemptions. A full lifting of the mandate by the administration, though, could be more legally questionable.

Not enforcing the mandate could result in chaos in the insurance market and cause a spike in premiums if healthy people dropped out of their coverage, leaving only sick people enrolled.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated in December that repealing the mandate would cause ObamaCare premiums to increase by 20 percent.

“Were the Trump administration to effectively repeal the mandate, it would certainly be sued,” law professor Timothy Jost wrote in Health Affairs on Friday.

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