The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Healthcare? Easier Than Republicans Can See

Of course, the title aims at the GOP. It is written as such based on the reality the GOP doesn't want to "see" healthcare for all.  We must never forget the GOP, as a party, never supported the Affordable Care Act. 

Recall the following historic minute of video for the late 1930s and its relevance to aiding people  (Americans) when they may need it most.

FDR: "Let Me Warn You"

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Connect The Dots USA

Much has been written about how the Senate GOP “health” plan (BCRA) would gut Medicaid, cause 22 million more Americans to be uninsured by 2026, and lavish huge tax cuts on the fabulously wealthy. But what about the effect on skyrocketing insurance premiums and high deductibles in the non-group market (the exchanges)? Does it even begin to solve the very problem that Republicans have been railing about in the ACA? Not by a long shot. In fact, quite the reverse — just another GOP/Trump bait-and-switch.

Based on examples in the CBO estimates, I put together this handy chart comparing the two GOP plans to the ACA (current law) for a single individual with $26,500 of income ( = 175% of Federal Poverty Level) in 2026. I also show what that person would pay under a Medicare-For-All system based on this calculator: . As you might expect, Medicare-For-All is clearly the winner both in terms of cost and coverage.

Under both GOP plans, older and low-mid/income folks will get hammered the worst in the non-group insurance market (aka the “Age Tax”). That’s because the House GOP plan, unlike the ACA, does not peg the size of the premium tax credits to income or the retail price of insurance in a particular area. The Senate GOP plan’s tax credits are structured more like the ACA (taking into account income and geography), but they are much, much skimpier and pegged to a crappy 58% valued plan (a sub-Bronze “Rusty Can” plan) where deductibles will probably be as high as $8,000 to $10,000 by 2026).

Both GOP plans also eliminate the ACA’s cost-sharing subsidies, which lower deductibles, co-pays, co-insurance and max-out-of-pocket (MOOP) for folks making between 100% and 250% of Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Basically, under the ACA, a lower-income individual or family purchases a Silver plan and then the cost-sharing subsidies effectively bump them up to a Gold or Platinum plan with much lower out-of-pocket costs.

To make matters even worse for older folks, both GOP plans allow insurers to charge 5 times more for a 64-year-old compared to a 21-year-old. The ACA limited that to 3 times more.

Here we see the TrumpCare “age tax” at work. Look how the 64-year-old with income of just $26,500 goes from paying $1,700 in annual premiums for an excellent Gold-plus plan under the ACA to paying $6,500 for a skimpier Silver plan under the GOP Senate bill to a mind-boggling $14,600 for an even crappier Bronze plan under the GOP House bill. That’s nearly a quarter of her income under the Senate proposal and more than half of her income under the House bill — in premiums alone! Not to mention, she will be walloped with a $5,000 to $10,000 deductible and high co-pays. No doubt, this vulnerable senior would likely join the ranks of the uninsured. And that has nothing to do with freedom, choice or bad priorities.

Meanwhile, under a Medicare-For-All system, she and her entire household would be 100% covered (no out-of-pocket costs) for a mere 3% of household income or $795 per year in additional employer payroll tax. 

That’s a great deal!

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