The RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, predicts that the cost of buying policies through new insurance exchanges would increase only slightly if the individual mandate provision were removed. (The exchanges will be created to help small businesses and individuals purchase insurance through a more organized and competitive market.)
However, because fewer people would buy insurance if the mandate were eliminated, costs borne by the federal government would rise, the researchers said.
Eliminating the individual mandate would cut the predicted number of Americans buying new health coverage in 2016 from 27 million to 15 million and increase an individual's cost of buying insurance by 2.4 percent, according to the RAND analysis.
But Christine Eibner, an economist at RAND, said government spending for each person newly enrolled in a health insurance plan would more than double, reaching nearly $7,500 a person.
"Without the individual mandate, the government would have to spend more overall to insure a lot fewer people," Eibner said in a RAND news release.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services outlines how women will fare under the Affordable Care Act.
To read an overview story on the Affordable Care Act, click here.
For legal experts' best guess on how the Supreme Court will rule on the Affordable Care Act, click here.
To learn more about the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, click here.
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