Proposed Trumpcare Would Increase Premiums by $7,000 per year for 64 Year-old (AARP)

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• In Bellingham,

The AARP has prepared a detailed study of the effects of President Trump’s proposed changes to the ACA (aka Obamacare). It does not look good. From the study:

About 6.1 million older Americans age 50-64 currently purchase insurance in the non-group market, and nearly 3.2 million are currently eligible to receive subsidies for health insurance coverage through either the federal health benefits exchange or a state-based exchange (exchange). We have seen a significant reduction in the number of uninsured since passage of the ACA, with the number of 50-64 year old Americans who are uninsured dropping by half. Affordability of both premiums and cost-sharing is critical to older Americans and their ability to obtain and access health care.

A typical senior seeking coverage through an exchange has a median annual income of under $25,000 and already pays significant out-of-pocket costs for health care. We have serious concerns that the bill under consideration will dramatically increase health care costs for 50-64 year olds who purchase health care through an exchange due both to the changes in age rating from 3:1 (already a compromise that requires uninsured older Americans to pay three times more than younger individuals) to 5:1 and reductions in current subsidies for older Americans. Age rating plus premium increases equal an unaffordable age tax….

Significant premium increases for older consumers will make insurance less affordable, will not address their expressed concern of rising premiums, and will only encourage a small increase in enrollment numbers for younger persons. In addition, the bill proposes to change current subsidies based on income and premium levels to a flatter tax credit. The change in structure will dramatically increase premiums for older consumers….

When we examined the impact of both the tax credit changes and 5:1 age rating, our estimates find that, taken together, premiums for older adults could increase by as much as $3,600 for a 55 - year old earning $25,000 a year, $7,000 for a 64 - year old earning $25,000 a year and up to $8,400 for a 64 - year old earning $15,000 a year. In addition to these skyrocketing premiums, out - of - pocket costs could significantly increase under the bill with the elimination of cost sharing assistance in current law.

So thanks, President Trump, for proposing to crapify even further my $6,500 deductible, Bronze Obamacare plan with a monthly premium before subsidy of $935 for a couple - and to raise my monthly premium yet again! Exactly how is this “better” - as you promised your proposal would be?

Well the White House is soliciting responses via email (I heartily recommend you subscribe to get a feel for the priorities and communication style of our fearless leader’s team):

Share Your Obamacare Disaster Story (the email begins): Obamacare has been a complete failure since the beginning, and things are only getting worse.Today, President Donald J. Trump held a listening session to hear directly from Americans who have experienced significant hardship as a result of Obamacare’s poor coverage and rising prices. President Trump wants to hear from hard-working Americans like you. How has Obamacare affected you?

Here’s a link to the White House page where you can share your story. Here’s what I wrote:

“The ACA has been a benefit to my family because it allowed a family member to purchase health insurance that had previously been denied due to a pre-existing condition. It is not perfect but it is better than what we had before.

What would actually improve the entire healthcare system for everybody, and reduce the cost to society, is to implement single-payer Medicare for all.

President Trump, you could be a beloved leader if you went against the vested interests who corruptly control the healthcare system for their own benefit and set up Medicare for ALL - something that benefits actual hard-working citizens and not the profiteering of health insurance companies.”

Note to the GOP - when the AARP is against you, you are in trouble - if any one group defines the GOP base, it’s older Americans.

About David Camp

Citizen Journalist • Member since Jul 12, 2009

David Camp is a cpa (Canada'86; USA'96) and MBA (Schulich'88) who toiled thirty years in the corporate salt mines, counting beans and telling stories to the auditors and whatnot. Now [...]

Comments by Readers

Dick Conoboy

Mar 15, 2017


I hardly view AARP (essentially an insurance company with a retirement association dangling from its organization chart) as the Oracle at Delphi so my response to their calculations is, essentially, “meh!”  But like a broken clock that is correct twice a day, they may have some points but it is all really about the number of angels dancing on the pinhead of health care. It makes little difference if, as you say, the answer is that there is only one angel on that pinhead and that is Medicare for all.



David Camp

Mar 15, 2017

Medicare for all is only achievable politically with allies such as the AARP - say what you like to disparage them but they were a key lobby in maintaining Social Security and Medicare.

IN fact, under the ACA, the federal government is both an agent for the insurance companies (through the health exchanges) and also an enforcer through the IRS to force people to buy health insurance. Effectively, the ACA was designed of by and for the insurance companies, and their $15 million per year grandees.

And because of this, the administrative costs of US health care are over 20% as a proportion of health costs - v. less than 1% for medicare and single payer systems in other countries.

And the USA spends over 17% of GDP for healthcare - and doesn;t cover everybody v. under 8% of gdp in Canada’s single payer NON-PROFIT system - that covers everybody!


Dick Conoboy

Mar 15, 2017


I think we are both essentially on the same track.  This today by Ellen Brown at Counterpunch 

“Ryancare” Dead on Arrival: Can We Please Now Try Single Payer?

“Single payer, or Medicare for All, is the system proposed in 2016 by Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. It is also the system endorsed by Donald Trump in his book The America We Deserve. Mr. Trump confirmed his admiration for that approach in January 2015, when he said on David Letterman: ‘A friend of mine was in Scotland recently. He got very, very sick. They took him by ambulance and he was there for four days. He was really in trouble, and they released him and he said, ‘Where do I pay?’ And they said, ‘There’s no charge.’ Not only that, he said it was like great doctors, great care. I mean we could have a great system in this country.’ ”


Thomas R. Scott

Mar 15, 2017

AARP transitioned from advocacy group to to self interested insurance company many years ago.  Hence their support of the ACA when, by their own reconning, their membership was calling in 14-1 against it because of the cuts to Medicare needed to pay for the act, somewhere between $.5B to $.7B.

However, AARP, according to Forbes, increased their profits (not including membership fees) to as much as $2.8B with the ACA deal.

Following the money, at the very least, in 2011 they made almost twice as much from Medigap insurance fees as they received in membership fees.

Specifically, AARP does better financially when Medicare has a bigger “gap” in coverage for senior medical needs.  This hardly makes AARP an ideal nor objective measure of medical policy.

 - Tom



David Camp

Mar 16, 2017

Tom - do you have an actual argument that addresses the points in the article? Your comment is essentially an extended ad hominem - the lowest form of argument. I thought better of you.

Can we conclude that you are against the ACA and for Trumpcare? It seems so from your disparagement of the source and not addresssing ANY of the points in the article.