Sunday, March 12, 2017

GOP Health Plan Risks Backlash From Seniors

Morningstar --

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 insurance market. 

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