Earlier this week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its highly anticipated analysis of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and what its passage would mean for American families. The CBO estimate confirms our worst fears—24 million people would lose health coverage over the next decade.
The report affirms that older adults will be among those hardest hit by the proposal. If the AHCA becomes law, the number of uninsured would increase most significantly among low-income Americans ages 50 to 64. CBO finds that individual market premiums would spike for this very same group as a result of an “age tax” that would allow insurers to charge five times more for older enrollees than for younger ones.
Additionally, CBO estimates that the AHCA will increase Medicare spending by $43 billion over ten years. A separate analysis on the AHCA by the Joint Committee on Taxation also finds that the repeal of a modest payroll tax on the wealthiest Americans amounts to a $117.3 billion windfall, effectively weakening Medicare.
CBO also finds that the AHCA cuts Medicaid by $880 billion over ten years. Ten million people with Medicare rely on Medicaid to cover vital long-term home care and nursing home services, to help afford their Medicare costs, and more. The Medicaid funding caps in the AHCA (known as per-capita caps) threaten access to these vital Medicaid supports for people with Medicare.
The CBO score confirms it: the AHCA forces older adults, people with disabilities, and their families to pay more for less, all while undermining the Medicare guarantee. If Congressional leaders truly want to provide health coverage to American families, they must go back to the drawing board.
For more information on the Medicare program and proposals under consideration by Congress to change it, visit the Medicare Rights Center’s “Protect and Strengthen” webpage at www.medicarerights.org/protect.
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If Congressional leaders truly want to provide health coverage to American families, they must go back to the drawing board.<br>
Tell your members Congress to protect our care and vote “NO” on the American Health Care Act.
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