Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL) released the following statement after the passage of his amendment to appropriations legislation that includes the District of Columbia's 2019 budget. The amendment will prevent funding from being used to implement the District of Columbia's Health Insurance Requirement Amendment Act of 2018:
"Individuals should be allowed to make their own decisions about the type of insurance they want to purchase without being subjected to punishment from the government," Palmer said. "The D.C. individual mandate would restrict patient choice and force people to purchase insurance that they may not need, desire, or be able to afford. If they do not, they will be charged a tax and if they don't pay the tax they could have their property foreclosed and seized. The government should not be able to seize property of D.C. residents if they have chosen not to buy an insurance policy that they do not need or that violates their conscience by covering elective abortions."
The D.C. mandate would reinstate the individual mandate that Congress repealed through the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act last year. It was quietly added to the District's large 2019 budget bill with little notice and would impose a tax penalty on those who chose to purchase other coverage under the Trump administration's new association health plans or under short-term health plans. The mandate would also authorize the seizure and sale of property if a resident is unable or unwilling to pay the tax penalty.