What The New Healthcare Bill Could Do To You
by Kristina Mancino
AARP has maintained its opposition for the possible new healthcare bill that could replace Obamacare. In a statement from AARP’s Vice President Nancy LeaMond said,
“AARP opposes this legislation, as introduced, that would weaken Medicare, leaving the door open to a voucher program that shifts costs and risks to seniors.
“Before people even reach retirement age, big insurance companies could be allowed to charge them an age tax that adds up to thousands of dollars more per year. Older Americans need affordable health care services and prescriptions. This plan goes in the opposite direction, increasing insurance premiums for older Americans and not doing anything to lower drug costs.
“On top of the hefty premium increase for consumers, big drug companies and other special interests get a sweetheart deal.
“Finally, Medicaid cuts could impact people of all ages and put at risk the health and safety of 17.4 million children and adults with disabilities and seniors by eliminating much-needed services that allow individuals to live independently in their homes and communities. Although no one believes the current health care system is perfect, this harmful legislation would make healthcare less secure and less affordable.
The House plan’s to make drastic changes to the healthcare that is currently in place. Changes such as shortening the life of Medicare, hiking costs for those who can least afford higher insurance premiums, risking seniors’ ability to live independently, and giving tax breaks to big drug companies and health insurance.
In a recent survey, American families stated they were more worried than ever about being able to pay their medical bills. With the new bill, waiting to be voted on, health care could become less affordable and less secure for millions of Americans. The “American Health Care Act” would hike premiums for older Americans, weaken Medicare, and 17.4 million low-income seniors and people with disabilities could be at risk if they reply on Medicaid. People between the ages of 50 and 64 could get hit with an “age tax” when buying new health insurance on their own. There is no longer a limit for how much insurance companies can charge older Americans while providing reduced tax credits that don’t put rising cost of coverage into account. This part of the bill hits hard and will have rippling devastation for older Americans who’s budgets are already stretched.
“Here are a few examples from an AARP Public Policy Institute analysis: A 55-year-old earning $25,000 a year could see premiums go up $3,600; a 64-year-old earning $25,000 a year would pay $7,000 more in premiums, while someone the same age earning $15,000 a year could see insurance premiums go up as much as $8,400. These are increases the American people simply can’t afford. Higher premiums are bad news for consumers and great news for insurance companies.”
Medicare is taking a huge hit, as of today, the Medicare Trust Fund is projected to have enough money to pay 100 percent of benefits through 2028. With the new bill, it shortens the timeline cutting 4-years which opens the door for future cuts and potentially turning Medicare into a Voucher System. Vouchers would increase healthcare costs for all current and future retirees.
Medicaid will also take a major hit, which is a vital lifeline that cover health care and long-term care for millions of Americans. The bill will shift costs onto states cause cuts to critical services in the future. This could hinder individuals who want to live independently in their homes and communities.
So who exactly is the American Health Care Act helping? We’ll make it simple, Drug Companies. The huge tax break will be given with nothing ask in return. No provisions are currently addressed for the skyrocketing cost of prescriptions. There isn’t even restrictions to control the cost of medical care at all.
“Our current health care system certainly isn’t perfect. There is a lot of room for improvement, and AARP stands ready to work with both parties on legislation that put Americans’ health care first. Unfortunately, that’s not what the American Health Care Act does. We cannot support policies that make health care less affordable and less secure for the millions of Americans that we represent.”