The true cost of Trumpcare

Steve Almond We need a Fourth Estate that acts as an honest broker of the truth writes Steve Almond. Millions of lives are at stake

Steve Almond We need a Fourth Estate that acts as an honest broker of the truth writes Steve Almond. Millions of lives are at stake

Trumpcare is opposed by the AARP, the American Hospital Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Medical Association and the American Health Care Association, as well as other organizations.

And most of those newly uninsured would come from the ranks of older Americans and from the lower and middle income earners. One reason for the miss is that employers didn't drop health care benefits to the extent the CBO estimated.

Under the House plan, tax credits would increase as people age, with a 27-year-old getting $2,000 per year while a 60-year-old would get $4,000.

The difference in approaches could translate into average reductions in government financial aid for low-income and older Floridians ranging from about $850 a year to almost $6,000 annually for a standard ACA plan, according to AARP.

And, in a national survey, when asked about priorities for an ACA replacement plan, consumers overwhelmingly (67 percent) reported wanting the top priority to be lowering the cost of health care.

Supporters of the Republican plan have said it will make health care more affordable and reduce the deficit. AARP's analysis focused on two factors in the Republican proposal likely to disproportionately affect older Floridians: allowing insurance companies to charge their oldest member up to five times as much as their youngest members, and a change in the financial aid the government provides to help people afford their coverage. As the CBPP points out, premiums are generally higher in rural areas due to lower populations, a more limited variety of providers and little competition between insurers. He praised the Republican plan for its cost savings, but acknowledged it will change significantly during the legislative process. AARP's deep concern about the legislation extends beyond these drastic effects on older adults in the individual private insurance market.

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This results, the CBO estimates, in 25 percent lower premium for a 21 year old, 8 to 10 percent lower for a 40 year old, and 25 percent higher for a 64 year old.

"You take a look at the economy, and a lot of the growth is coming from companies with 100 employees or less", he said.

She gets about a $5,000 annual government subsidy to purchase insurance through the marketplace. The ACA does need reforms but Republicans have ignored this avenue for years. For example, plans can not deny coverage for pre-existing conditions and they have to cover behavioral health services (mental health and substance use services) on par with the way they cover other medical services.

Barbara Zabawa is a clinical assistant professor in the College of Health Sciences at UW-Milwaukee and founder of the Madison-based Center for Health and Wellness Law.

Without Democratic support, Republicans can not afford to lose many votes from their own ranks, even though they control both chambers of Congress, as well as the White House.

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