Obamacare Replacement's “Age Tax” Too Much, says AARP
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Attacking what it calls an age tax and saying it undermines Medicare, AARP is coming out strongly against the GOP's plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.
The main proposal to replace Obamacare would allow insurance companies to charge people in their 50s and 60s much more than the current law.
And the bill, known as the American Health Care Act, would cut subsidies that help low and moderate-income families afford their coverage.
Nancy LeaMond, AARP executive vice president, says the legislation would also repeal a tax on drug makers that now helps fund Medicare.
"The American Health Care Act weakens Medicare, it increases insurance premiums for older Americans, and it does nothing to lower drug costs," she states.
House Republicans point out that the plan does include a tax credit that increases for older adults to help defray costs.
They see the Affordable Care Act as overly ambitious and too restrictive. But their new American Health Care Act is also drawing criticism from doctors and hospitals, among others.
According to AARP's projections, a 55-year-old making $25,000 a year would likely have to pay $3,600 more per year for insurance in the individual marketplace.
And LeaMond says a 64-year-old making $15,000 a year would pay $8,400 more in premiums.
"Insurance premiums for older adults would skyrocket,” she stresses. “These are increases that the American people simply can't afford."
Most analysts are saying the GOP plan would favor younger, healthier and more well off consumers, while meaning much higher costs to insure older people and less healthy, low-to-moderate income folks.
LeaMond says the plan also does nothing to rein in the price of prescription drugs, and gives tax breaks to certain corporate interests.
"Now on top of this, drug companies and other special interests get a sweetheart deal in the form of tax cuts, while there's nothing in the bill about lowering drug costs," she states.
The American Health Care Act also faces opposition from the most conservative members of Congress, as well as Democrats and moderate Republicans in the Senate.