March 24, 2017
How are seniors affected by Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump’s American Health Care Act?
- Reduces the solvency of the Medicare trust fund by 4 years by repealing the .09% payroll tax for high earners (individuals earning $200,000 and couples earning $250,000).
- Cuts $880 billion from Medicaid by changing the Medicaid payment structure from unlimited federal match to a per capita cap. Cuts of this magnitude will force states to ration care by making it harder to qualify for benefits, cutting payments to providers and/or requiring individuals to pay more. Since long-term care is an optional service, states could eliminate or severely reduce it, jeopardizing nursing home or home care for seniors.
- Terminates Medicaid expansion in 2017.
Impact on Americans 50-64 years old
- Insurance premiums for this age group will rise from $1,700 a year to $14,600 a year, jeopardizing care for more than 6 million people who purchase their health insurance on an exchange. (A separate fund had been created that would allow the Senate to provide a larger tax credit for this age group, however, the added funding will still not be sufficient and seniors will not be able to buy adequate coverage.)
- Repeals essential health benefits, which means weaker plans that can exclude coverage for things like hospitalizations, mammograms and laboratory services.
Provides tax breaks for the wealthy and corporations
- Billions in tax cuts to wealthy individuals and corporations, including insurers, drug companies and medical device makers.
- Starting in 2023, people earning more than $1 million a year will receive a $50,000 tax cut and the top 1% will receive a $195,000 tax cut.
Keeps “Cadillac Tax” on Workers’ Health Insurance
- While the bill repeals taxes for the rich, it keeps in place a 40% excise tax for high-cost employer-sponsored health plans. This tax applies to employer plans with more ill, disabled, or older workers, as well as those in regions with high health-care costs.