GOP Obamacare Replacement Bodes Ill for California’s almost-Seniors

Chad Terhune of California Healthline analyzed the GOP “replacement” plan for Obamacare and found it’s definitely bad news for Californians in the pre-Medicare age bracket (55 – 65) who don’t already get their health insurance through their employers.

The ACA [Obamacare] offers a wide range of subsidies that take into account household income and the local cost of coverage. The nationwide Republican tax credits are tied just to age, starting at $2,000 per year for people under 30 and increasing to $4,000 for those over 60.

That doesn’t bode well for a 60-year-old in Santa Cruz. If he makes $40,000 a year, he would receive $12,836 in ACA premium subsidies to buy insurance on the state exchange for 2017, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The subsidy takes into account the person’s income and the cost of insurance in the coastal town. (Kaiser Health News, which produces California Healthline, is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)

The House’s American Health Care Act would cut that person’s assistance to $4,000, based purely on his age. A 60-year-old making $20,000 a year in the same town would be even worse off, because his low income wouldn’t be part of the calculation. He would get nearly $12,000 less under the House plan than under the current law.

Over at the New York Times, in a story about the reaction to the plan by healthcare groups, “If the law is repealed, the groups say, people in their 50s and 60s could see premiums rise by $2,000 to $3,000 a year or more: increases of 20 percent to 25 percent or higher.”

It’s unlikely this “reform” legislation will become law in its current form.

But forewarned is forearmed; a major GOP faction is already complaining the changes proposed this week aren’t sufficiently harmful.