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.