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Gainesville Florida Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Proposed Health Care Law Makes Victims of Older Americans

 

The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote today on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican legislation designed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If this legislation becomes law as it currently stands, 24 million Americans are in danger of losing their health coverage, according to the national organization Justice In Aging.

Here are four things the AHCA would do to impact older Americans.

  1. The AHCA Guts Medicaid: The AHCA cuts more than $800 billion in federal funding, eliminates Medicaid expansion for adults ages 55 – 64 and weakens beneficiary protections. Under the new law, older adults and people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid would have fewer benefits and services, reduced access to home and community-based services, and receive less help paying for Medicare premiums or cost-sharing. States would also be forced to make other cuts and not have necessary funding to meet the needs of their aging populations.
  2. The AHCA Weakens Medicare: The AHCA would negatively impact Medicare’s finances and threaten access to vital services for people with Medicare. The AHCA reduces funds for Medicare, while it provides tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans.
  3. The AHCA Imposes a Literal Age Tax: Under the current law, insurers can charge older adults no more than three times as much for their premiums as they can charge younger adults. The proposed legislation enables insurers to charge older adults five times more. AARP has called this change an age tax. Under one amendment to the pending legislation, states would be able to waive even the new limit and charge older adults even more than the AHCA’s 5:1 limit.
  4.  The AHCA Eliminates Protections for People with Preexisting Conditions: New changes to the proposed legislation could result in the market returning to what it was like before the current law when older adults and those with preexisting conditions could not afford health coverage. The result could eliminate protections for people with preexisting conditions, including 25 million people aged 50-64, cause premiums to skyrocket, and leave those who need coverage the most without affordable options.

According to Justice In Aging, these recent changes have made what was a bad bill even worse.  Call this number – 866-426-2631 – immediately to urge members of the House of Representatives to reject this law.


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