The mandate alternatives were collected from 41 healthcare experts at 21 organizations—ranging from AHIP to the Urban Institute—at the request of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.).
Nelson said in a written statement that “Washington needs to explore the GAO report’s alternatives and others to see if there is a successful way to improve health reform.”
The mandate is a consistently unpopular provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Only 22% of the public supported it, in a March Harris Interactive and HealthDay poll, while 50% opposed it.
The mandate also has been struck down as unconstitutional by two federal judges, although three others upheld it. Those cases are on appeal.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) and 36 other Republicans back a bill to put the law’s implementation on hold until the Supreme Court rules on the mandate.
Nelson has expressed some discomfort with the insurance mandate in the past but a spokesman said the senator has no imminent plans for legislation on the issue, although some eventual action is likely.