House Republicans' health-care proposal is running into a new political problem: opposition from older people.
Independent analysts have predicted that the House
plan would significantly boost costs for low- and middle-income seniors.
Democrats, sensing an opening, are targeting their criticism on how the
GOP health bill would affect older people, particularly those between
ages 50 and 64, before they qualify for Medicare.
"Older Americans are specifically targeted for harm in this piece of
legislation," said Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.). "There are going to be
millions of older Americans, people on the precipice of Medicare, who
are not going to be able to afford insurance."
The House GOP bill's impact
on seniors stems from a series of policy changes it would make to the
2010 health-care law. One of the biggest would allow states to permit
health insurers on the individual market to charge seniors up to five
times as much as younger customers, who typically are healthier. The ACA
prevented insurers from charging seniors more than three times as much
as younger people.
Republicans hope their shift would enable insurers to offer cheaper
plans to young people, drawing additional healthy customers into the