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Winners, Losers by the Numbers: California and the GOP Health Plan

20 March 2017, 10:22 | Darin Griffith

Winners, Losers by the Numbers: California and the GOP Health Plan

Sen. Elizabeth Warren D-Mass. speaks with reporters as Democrats criticize the Republican health care plan at the Capitol in Washington Tuesday March 14 2017

Beyond the statistics produced by the Children's Defense Fund, Sara Collins, vice president for health care coverage and access at the Commonwealth Fund in Manhattan, said the Republican measure takes away advantages that are part of the Affordable Care Act.

AARP recognizes the need to improve the health care system, but overcharging older Americans is the wrong approach.

Ryan-care (or Trump-care, as some are calling it) results in a likely loss of health coverage for millions of Americans who - unlike the majority of us - buy it individually on the private market. And for the first time in half a decade, insurance companies would be able to sell policies that provide less for more premium dollars.

Most recently, the budget office scored the Republican's replacement plan to Obamacare, the American Health Care Act, and projected that 14 million Americans would become uninsured due to the legislation. It would create new, leaner tax credits for health insurance, cap federal spending on Medicaid for low-income people and reverse tax increases on wealthy Americans used to finance Obama's statute.

America is an exceptional country, and this pan is simply not worthy of America.

The legislation would further penalize consumers in their 50s and 60s through changes in the way health care tax credits are calculated.

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The CBO said that the Republican plan would make insurance so unaffordable that older people would be forced to go without, leaving mostly the younger, healthier people to join insurance plans.

The enrollment numbers also show fewer Americans selected an Obamacare plan this year than last. The CBO found that for a 64-year-old earning $26,500 a year, health care premiums would rise by nearly $13,000 a year. "You know, every bill has winners and losers". In order for it to pass the House, there can be no more than 21 Republican "no" votes. That means more competition - and lower prices.

The CBO's nonpartisan staff analysis may not be as cut and dried as the stone tablets Moses carried down from a mountain. "While this legislation is far from ideal and not the Obamacare replacement plan I had hoped to support, it is a substantial improvement from the mandates, burdens and failures of Obamacare".

But the federal government's calculation of those premiums varies widely by state and even county, with recipients in regions like southern Georgia winning thousands more in subsidies than people with similar incomes in places like western Pennsylvania and eastern Tennessee, as the Washington Post pointed out in 2013.

As our president says, it's complicated.

Richard Fulton is an emeritus professor of political science.



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