Analysis: Why Trumpcare Could Hit Seniors Very Hard
The new health care plan from Congressional Republicans — officially named the American Health Care Act but unofficially nicknamed Trumpcare — could potentially spell big trouble for seniors.
The AARP — a staunch defender of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) — criticized Trumpcare for jeopardizing seniors and their health care.
“This bill would weaken Medicare’s fiscal sustainability, dramatically increase health care costs for Americans aged 50-64 and put at risk the health care of millions of children and adults with disabilities, and poor seniors who depend on the Medicaid program for long-term services and supports and other benefits,” Joyce A. Rogers, a senior vice president at AARP, said via CNN.
Trumpcare would turn Medicaid — one option used by seniors — into a block-grant program that could potentially diminish the benefits. But that is not the only program that seniors should be worried about. A tweet from @Ddebn8R shows that seniors should really be concerned with the Trumpcare Medicare coverage.
I just spent 20% of my month's income on ONE medication-I need it to BREATHE-but I'm glad I can because I'm on Medicare-Without it, I'd die.
— Nurse Chapel 2017 (@NurseChapel2017) March 10, 2017
Trumpcare Medicare coverage will change.
Trumpcare will repeal two Obamacare taxes — a 0.9 percent Additional Medicare Tax paid by high earners and a 2.9 percent Medicare payroll tax — that help pay for Medicare. If those sources of revenue are eliminated, then there will either be fewer benefits from the Trumpcare Medicare coverage or fewer seniors will be covered.
“Keep your government hands off my Medicare,” one man recently told Rep. Bob Inglis at a South Carolina townhall, according to the Washington Post.
In addition to a weakened Medicare program, some seniors could see their insurance premiums skyrocket under Trumpcare. This is because the bill changes subsides from an income-based system to an age-based system.
In the current Obamacare system, insurers charge seniors up to three times as much as young people. With Trumpcare, insurers can charge seniors up to five times as much as young people.
“As you get more young people into the marketplace, it’ll bring down prices for everyone,” Rep. Brett Guthrie of Kentucky, the second-ranking Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said to Fox Business.
Seniors better hope that Republicans are right about Trumpcare. Otherwise, seniors could see their health care costs rise and their benefits will be reduced.
A typical low-income 64 year old’s out-of-pocket premium would jump from $1700 a year to $14,600 a year. pic.twitter.com/VpkOb2Ydfl
— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) March 13, 2017