President Donald Trump pledged “much less expensive and much better” health care in January, but a Senate bill would more than double premiums for a 60-year-old in Palm Beach County making $50,000 a year, a new analysis shows. Added premium costs annually: $6,910, or a 135 percent hike.
t’s a double whammy for a 60-year-old making $20,000 a year. Premiums paid out of pocket more than double to $2,080, and the consumer would also lose by 2020 government help of about $4,800 this year to cover co-pays and deductibles, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The consumer would have to cover that shortfall herself.“In a very real sense, the Senate bill offers you less coverage and costs you more,” said Dave Bruns, AARP Florida communications manager. “That is borne out by the Kaiser Family Foundation data and by our analysis of the bill.”Others could come out ahead under the Senate bill. A 27-year-old living in Palm Beach County and making $50,000 would save $260 a year on 2020 premiums in a silver healthcare.gov plan under the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act, according to Kaiser’s analysis.
Trump tweeted Monday, “Republican Senators are working very hard to get there, with no help from the Democrats. Not easy! Perhaps just let OCare crash & burn!” OCare would be shorthand for Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act.Senate bill supporters say it protects those with pre-existing conditions, but the bill could let states waive rules that could make such coverage much more costly to the consumer, said Michelle Long, policy analyst for the foundation’s Health Care Marketplace Project. Potential changes include letting insurers reimpose annual or lifetime caps on benefits or opt out of certain “essential benefits” they must cover now, she said.“I don’t see anything in the language to prevent that,” Long said.
Senate leaders have said they hope to vote on the bill as early as this week.“The American people deserve #BetterCare, which is exactly what we’re working to bring them,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., tweeted Monday.Though it offers more subsidies for low-income consumers than the House bill does, the Senate plan still lets insurers charge older consumers five times as much as younger ones. Advocacy group AARP has staunchly opposed this as an “age tax.”Both the House and Senate versions would cut about $1 trillion in taxes on corporations and individuals making more than $200,000 a year.On Monday, the American Medical Association announced its opposition to the Senate bill in a letter to McConnell. “Medicine has long operated under the precept of . . . ‘first, do no harm.’ The draft legislation violates that standard on many levels,” said the letter from James L. Madara, AMA’s CEO and executive vice president.Palm Beach County premiums.This shows annual premiums in 2020 for a healthcare.gov silver plan, comparing the Affordable Care Act to the Senate’s Better Care Reconciliation Act. Amounts reflect the net amount the consumer pays. It does not include the impact of cost-sharing subsidies, which are eliminated by 2020 in the Senate plan. That means total out-of-pocket costs will rise further for lower-income consumers under the Senate bill than shown here.
Age / Income / ACA premium / Senate premium / Change
60 $20,000 $950 $2,080 Costs $1,130 more
60 $50,000 $5,100 $12,010 Costs $6,910 more
60 $100,000 $8,940 $12,010 Costs $3,070 more
40 $20,000 $960 $1,290 Costs $330 more
40 $50,000 $4,210 $4,210 No change
40 $100,000 $4,210 $4,210 No change
27 $20,000 $950 $1,160 Costs $210 more
27 $50,000 $3,450 $3,190 Costs $260 less
27 $100,000 $3,450 $3,190 Costs $260 less
Source Kaiser Family Foundation