By Miriam Raftery
Congressional Budget analysis: https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52486
March 14, 2017 (Washington D.C.) – Older and poorer Americans could be paying over half their income to buy health insurance under the House Republicans’ healthcare plan, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget office (CBO) has calculated. A 64-year-old earning $26,500 would be expected to pay a whopping $14,600 a year for healthcare – far more than the $1700 a year premiums under Obamacare.
The bill would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion by 2026, the CBO also found. But that savings would come largely on the backs of those who can least afford to pay more.
Ironically, the low-income senior earning $26,500 would pay almost the same premium as a senior earning $68,200. Why? Because the higher income senior would be eligible for a tax credit to lower his premium, while the poor person who needs help more gets nothing.
Young people would pay slightly less under the GOP bill. A 21-year-old earning $26,500 would pay $1450 a year, down from $1700 under Obamacare. But benefits would also be slashed, such as for preventive care.
Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act (ACA) helped 40 million people get insurance who were previously uninsured.
Trumpcare, or the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that Republicans propose would result in 24 million Americans losing healthcare coverage by 2026, with 14 million of those losing healthcare next year if the GOP plan takes effect.
The White House’s own estimate is even worse – predicting 26 million Americans will lose health insurance because they can’t afford the higher rates. That includes 17 million kicked off Medicaid, 6 million from individual markets and 3 million from employer-based plans.
In total, 54 million Americans would have no healthcare by 2026, adding the newly uninsured to the current level. That’s nearly double the current level, which is the lowest rate of uninsured people in the U.S. ever due to Obamacare.
A New York Times investigation revealed that Republican policies in red states, where many politicians refused to participate in the federal Medicaid assistance and tax credits, have the worst rates of uninsured people in the nation. Today’s uninsured “tend to live in the South, and they tend to be poor,” the NYT notes.
In blue states and a handful of red states that adopted exchange programs under Obamacare and accepted the federal help provided, people have fared far better. The NYT concludes, “Politics matter.”