New Healthcare Bill, Same Question

We’ve come a long way from the medicine man’s tipi location and plague doctors’ availability to premium rates and tax credits. Yet, no matter what the health care policy of the day is, the public’s initial response has always been consistent: how is this going to affect me?

So, with the Republican crafted American Health Care Act (ACHA) now proposed and ready to be debated by Congress, we thought we’d try to help answer the surface of that age-old question.

Who Will Benefit?

Supporters of this bill will say it is America as a whole who benefits. Let’s break down what they mean. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a nonpartisan group of ridiculously smart number crunchers, report that while average premiums (what we pay for insurance) will increase over two years, they will be lowered within ten years. Also, if everything went as planned in that ten year window, the government would save $300 billion dollars to help cut deficits.

Who also benefits are the rich. According to the Tax Policy Center, “The Republican plan would allow the richest households to pay an average of nearly $200,000 less…” At its core, the policy replaces income level with age as the criteria for who gets more benefits. So, those lucky enough to be both elderly and have a high income stand to benefit.

Who Will Not?

Ironically enough, with that being said, according to the CBO, “the uninsured rate of people over 50 would skyrocket from around 13 percent currently to just under 30 percent by 2026.” Put simply, that’s because the benefits provided by age will not be enough to bolster most low income insurance seekers in the middle class. So, while some of the elderly can look forward to a beneficial new plan, most on the cusp of receiving their AARP cards will see higher premiums.

Another key aspect the elderly need to consider: the Baby Boomers are coming. They are on their way towards retirement which means greater expenses in things like long-term care. Under the ACHA, these costs will drive up the average per capita Medicaid costs for seniors.

So, no matter what tax bracket you fall into, we’re hoping this helps you scratch the surface of answering humanity’s age-old health question.