Attributing such massive changes to individual mandate repeal is unbelievable. The chief architect of the ACA, economist Jonathan Gruber, has reported that the individual mandate had no significant effect on increasing coverage — eliminating it should have minimal effect. The mandate is riddled with exceptions that allow people to avoid buying insurance. The mandate also does little to motivate insurance purchase because penalties for failing to obtain coverage are low compared to insurance premiums. The IRS reports that during the 2016 tax season 11 million people claimed exemptions and 5.6 million people paid an average penalty of $442 – far less than the cost of insurance.