Affordable Care mandate repeal would remake market for consumers

FILE - In this May 18, 2017 file photo, the Healthcare.gov website is seen on a laptop computer, in Washington. Former Obama administration officials say they're launching a private campaign to encourage people to sign up for coverage next year under the Affordable Care Act. With the start of open enrollment just weeks away on Nov. 1, the Trump administration has slashed "Obamacare's" ad budget, as well as grants to outside organizations that are supposed to help consumers sign up. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Millions are expected to forgo coverage if Congress repeals the unpopular requirement that Americans get health insurance, boosting premiums for others.

Just as important, the drive by Senate Republicans to undo the coverage requirement under former President Barack Obama’s health care law fits neatly with the Trump administration’s effort to write new regulations allowing for skimpier plans with limited benefits and lower premiums.

Put the two together and the marketplace for about 18 million people buying their own health insurance may look very different in a few years.

Consumers would have layers of new options with different pluses and minuses. They’d notice a shift away from the “Obamacare” requirement that health plans cover a broad set of “essential” benefits.

New winners and losers would emerge.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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