Baker Institute health economics expert available to comment on vote to delay individual health insurance mandate

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David Ruth
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Jeff Falk
713-348-6775
jfalk@rice.edu

Baker Institute health economics expert available to comment on vote to delay individual health insurance mandate
Ho: There is less justification for delaying the individual mandate

HOUSTON – (July 15, 2013) – House Republicans plan to vote this week to delay the part of the Affordable Care Act that requires Americans to buy health insurance by next year; they argue that President Obama’s recent delay of the part of the law requiring employers to offer health insurance favors corporations over average Americans.

Vivian Ho

However, a health care economics expert at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy said that while there was a good argument to delay the employer mandate, there is less justification for delaying the individual mandate for health insurance.

Vivian Ho, the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics, a professor of economics at Rice and a professor in the Department of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said, “The regulations and reporting requirements that employers are being asked to meet are complicated and time-consuming. A one-year delay for employers is a good policy decision. There is less justification for delaying the individual mandate for health insurance. The law already provides exemptions from the penalty for low-income persons who cannot afford to purchase coverage.

Ho said that provided the health care exchanges in each state are up and running in October, those who currently do not have coverage should be able to find affordable insurance for 2014 with much less difficulty than employers are facing.

The Baker Institute has a radio and television studio available for media who want to schedule an interview with Ho. For more information, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at jfalk@rice.edu or 713-348-6775.

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Related materials:

Ho biography: http://bakerinstitute.org/personnel/fellows-scholars/vho/.

Founded in 1993, the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University in Houston ranks among the top 20 university-affiliated think tanks globally and top 30 think tanks in the United States. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows and Rice University scholars. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog

About Jeff Falk