While not one of the more immediate provisions in the healthcare reform law, the individual mandate is likely to be one of the most talked-about elements. As we indicated last week, the composition of any health risk pool has significant cost implications, and an effective individual mandate can help encourage better health risks to enter the pool. The individual mandate is intended, among other things, to prevent a selection spiral.
There is plenty of related press coverage this week, especially over the subject of whether the individual mandate will pass legal muster. The Internet is crowded with individual mandate-related headlines. Ezra Klein with the Washington Post has weighed in twice (here and here).
How will the public react to the individual mandate? While it has been relatively well received in Massachusetts, the reaction may vary from one location to another. An LA Times op-ed on Wednesday supporting the individual mandate drew some heat.
This is one story to keep an eye on.