Back in the 1990’s and early 2000s, an increasing number of Americans were looking forward to early retirement. Now, that prospect could be a dangerous time for older Americans if Republicans plow ahead with TrumpCare, their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).
A new analysis released by the Congressional Budget Office revealed that the GOP legislation would allow insurers to charge older adults five times more than the young, leading to especially astronomical spikes for less affluent Americans who retire early.
“Because I’m low-income, I only pay about $8 a month,” said Aimee Desroches, a retired victims’ advocate who lives outside a “tiny little town” in the Maine countryside. Because she is 63 years old and eligibility for Medicare begins at 65, she buys insurance and Obamacare subsidizes it. Currently, she receives a $9,000 subsidy, which is enough to cover her health insurance.
But if the Republican plan passes, she will not only be charged more, she would also receive less help: under $5,000 per year.
The bill will also cut funding for U.S. veterans care, the Congressional Budget Office reported.
“I would absolutely be unable to be able to have any health insurance,” Desroches said. The increase insurance costs alone would be “well more than my income”.
As The Guardian notes: This could put Republicans in an existential bind: older people vote, they disproportionately vote Republican and the 38-million-member advocacy group for Americans older than 50, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), vehemently opposes the plan.
“Putting the financial burden on older Americans is not the way to solve the problems in our healthcare system,” said AARP executive vice-president Nancy LeaMond. “This plan increases insurance premiums for older Americans and does nothing to lower drug costs – doing the opposite of what older Americans need.”
The controversial plan has also been panned by conservative Republicans, who feel it does not go far enough to repeal Obamacare; by the left; and by doctor, hospital and patient associations.
Democrats have blasted the Republican plan as a “scheme” to funnel millions from the poor to the most wealty.
“Trumpcare doesn’t replace the Affordable Care Act, it forces millions of Americans to pay more for less care. This plan would cut and cap Medicaid, defund Planned Parenthood, and force Americans, particularly older Americans, to pay more out of pocket for their medical care all so insurance companies can pad their bottom line,” Seate minority leader Chuck Schumer said.
He added: “It cuts taxes on the rich to make middle-class families pay more. To make matters worse, this sham of a replacement would rip treatment away from hundreds of thousands of Americans dealing with opioid addiction, breaking the President’s word that he would expand treatment, not cut it.”
“This bill is a giveaway to the wealthy and insurance companies at the expense of American families, and Senate Democrats will work hard to see that it is defeated,” he said
Nancy Pelosi also blasted the proposed legislation, explaining how Trumpcare “couldn’t be worse.”
“This will make millions of people — it’s a question of 10, 15, 20 million people — off of having health insurance,” she said during an interview on CBS’s “This Morning.”
“It will be the biggest transfer of wealth from low and middle-income people to wealthy people in our country.”
“Show us the numbers as to how many people will be thrown off. It couldn’t be worse.”