Memo To Gov. Outlines Impact Of American Health Care Act For Oklahomans

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

AARP opposes the AHCA because it increases costs and risks for older Americans. It particularly helped couples where one spouse was well and the other sick, so that the sick person's health-care costs would not bankrupt the couple of all their assets or make it hard to maintain health insurance. But by and large, the same people enjoying federal taxpayer-funded premium assistance would continue to get significant help - in some cases more help under the GOP plan - and opponents are wrong to claim otherwise. Currently, around 9.5 percent of Americans younger than 65 are uninsured.

Beyond the statistics produced by the Children's Defense Fund, Sara Collins, vice president for health care coverage and access at the Commonwealth Fund in Manhattan, said the Republican measure takes away advantages that are part of the Affordable Care Act. First and foremost, Obamacare meant to decrease the number of uninsured people in the USA from around 15% of the population, or about 45 million people, to a much smaller number. In 2026, it would be 24 million larger. As more insurers flee the individual marketplace, it is now more clear than ever that Obamacare is crumbling.

U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined Delaware Health and Social Services Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Connections Community Support Programs CEO Cathy McKay and state and local leaders Thursday in Dover to talk about the consequences the proposed repeal and replace health plan would have on the progress states like Delaware have made with drug and mental health treatment. In addition, no states would be able to take up the expansion in the future, further dropping the number of potential Medicaid enrollees. But the mix of people would eventually shift younger, pushing premiums down - younger people tend to be healthier, and therefore cost less to insure. That's because it eliminates a requirement that insurers sell plans with lower cost-sharing - but higher premiums - on the exchanges, CBO found.

Republicans are applauding this.

But it wouldn't work out the same for everyone.

The mostly age-based tax credit would be $2,000-$4,000 per insurance purchaser, and up to $14,000 per family, for individuals with an adjusted gross income (AGI) of up to $75,000 and married couples with an AGI of up to $150,000. And it would hit numerous president's supporters particularly hard, though Republican leaders are now looking to make some changes to the bill in order to win more support among lawmakers. It would end subsidies that help low-income people with high insurance premiums the most and replace them with tax credits that are bigger for older people.

Hawks sit Paul Millsap; Evan Turner returns for Trail Blazers
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CBO's new estimate neglects the behavioral effects that would result from the Republican plan.

Experts agree that while the ACA drastically reduced uninsured rates in New Jersey, it needed to be fixed. But it appears it would grow the most - more than doubling - among older, low-income insurance buyers. A change like this would also make it appealing for businesses to rid themselves of older employees and their now substantially higher health insurance benefit costs.

"By 2026, average premiums for single policyholders in the nongroup market under the legislation would be roughly 10 percent lower than under current law, CBO and JCT estimate". And if someone is already on Medicaid, he could lose his insurance if his eligibility lapses for two or more months in a row. Both of those changes would reduce spending by a little more each year.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the figures a day before the House Budget Committee plans to advance the GOP bill in a potentially tight vote. Or do backers of the Coverage Destruction Act of 2017 just want people to get sicker and sicker until they have to get really expensive care in an emergency room - which may come too late? By the time Trump ends his term, the number would swell to 21 million fewer insured.

Under the Affordable Care Act, 31 states and the District of Columbia chose to accept expanded coverage, which allowed people earning up to 138 percent of the poverty level to enroll in the program.

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