On Monday, the Congressional Budget Office released their analysis of the GOP’s new healthcare bill, the American Health Care Act. When it was first released, people primarily reacted to the revelation that, under the AHCA, up to 24 million Americans would be uninsured by 2026. Now, after studying the report a bit further, CNBC has also revealed that the AHCA would cause premiums for the elderly to skyrocket.
The AHCA will make insurance premiums more affordable for younger Americans; however, these savings come at the expense of the elderly. In the CBO’s report, the organization makes this point by using as an example a single person with an annual income of $26,500.
A 21-year-old with this income would pay, on average, just $1,450 in insurance premiums, less than the $1,700 they would pay on average under the Affordable Care Act. On the other hand, a 64-year-old with the same income would have to pay a whopping $14,600 in insurance premiums — that’s a 750 percent increase. Under the ACA, this individual would also have had to pay just $1,700.
The chart below illustrates this disparity as well:
Older Americans with higher incomes ($75,000 or more) will also notice the AHCA lowering the balance in their bank accounts since they will get fewer subsidies (or none at all) and experience higher insurance premiums as a result.
The AHCA does away with the rule that was put in place by the ACA regarding how much insurance companies can charge older individuals. Under the ACA, insurance companies could not charge and older person more than three times what they would charge a younger individual. However, The AHCA increases the cap from three to five, meaning that older Americans could end up being charged 66 percent more than they are being charged now.
With this information in mind, it’s no wonder the CBO is estimating that the number of people over 50 who are insured would jump from 13 percent (the number currently uninsured) to 30 percent by 2026.
Republicans are clearly placing the health of younger Americans above that of senior citizens with this new plan, an action that certainly seems like a slap in the face to the 53 percent of older Americans who voted for Trump.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney pushed back against the argument that the AHCA puts older Americans at a disadvantage on Tuesday’s episode of Fox and Friends. Mulvaney explained, in response to a question about reports of the increased premiums for the elderly:
‘We have said this in the very beginning—we think the CBO is measuring against the wrong thing. To that same group of voters, go ask them. Go find the 55-year old person who is on ObamaCare right now and ask them if they can afford to go to the doctor—they will tell you, without exception, that they can’t and they know that our program will give that to them.’
Watch Mulvaney try to defend the AHCA in the video below, available via YouTube.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.