Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) just lost a major battle.
Cruz’s proposal to block D.C. from requiring residents to have health insurance was voted down by a 54-44 vote.
Congress and D.C.
Sen. Cruz was trying to block “individual mandate” legislation that is beginning to pop up in blue states.
D.C. recently passed such legislation, which would require residents to have health insurance or face a fine.
This is the same legislation that was earlier repealed by the Trump administration nationally.
Massachusetts has had an individual mandate since 2006.
Both Vermont and New Jersey recently passed legislation requiring the same mandate.
However, D.C. falls under congressional oversight.
“Under the Constitution, it is Congress that has the responsibility for the District of Columbia,” Cruz said. “I think its unfortunate that Democratic politicians in D.C. and elsewhere are eager to fine people who are struggling simply because they can’t afford insurance.”
The Democrat Argument
Democrats are trying to make the case that insurance premiums will go up significantly if there is no mandate.
Their argument is younger people who are less likely to use insurance need to purchase it anyway in order for insurance companies to be able to afford the coverage for older individuals using the benefits.
They continue to point to a recent rise in insurance premiums after the federal repeal of the mandate.
However, the biggest increase premiums was seen before the mandate had even been repealed.
In fact, before Trump even initiated the repeal, insurance companies announced massive hikes in premiums across the board.
Insurance companies slammed customers with hikes as much as 100 percent for coverage, while actually decreasing benefits.
And it actually behooved them do so; since they knew everyone had to have coverage, there was no choice in paying the hefty premiums.
The Trump administration wants to take the battle with insurance companies even further by removing state boundaries for coverage.
Doing so, according to Trump, will create more competition among the insurance companies, resulting in significantly lower premiums for shoppers.