The Washington D.C. based Center on Budget and Policy priorities today released an updated analysis of revisions made to the Republican House bill to repeal and replace Obamacare know as the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Those revisions came earlier this week in hopes they could sway enough conservative members of Congress to support the bill for the measure to pass as planned on Thursday.
The new analysis shows Alaskans continue to be impacted more than any other state.
“The updated House Republican legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) raises total out-of-pocket health costs (premiums, deductibles, copays, and coinsurance) by an average of $3,600 in 2020 for people who buy health insurance through the ACA marketplaces — just as the previous version of this legislation would have done. Specifically, as explained below, tax credits that help people pay premiums would fall sharply (by an average of $2,200); average premiums would rise; and out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, copays, and coinsurance would increase (by an average of $1,200). Total cost increases would be larger for people who have lower incomes, are older, or live in high-cost states: in 15 states, average increases would exceed $4,000.”
“House Republicans have argued that, rather than analyze their bill as written, observers should judge it based on how the Senate might change it. Specifically, they note that the updated bill allocates $85 billion to expand the income tax deduction for out-of-pocket medical expenses, and they argue that these resources constitute a reserve fund that the Senate can use “to potentially enhance the tax credit for those aged 50 to 64 who may need additional assistance.”
“But even if fully $85 billion were reinvested in higher tax credits for older Americans, total cost increases for marketplace consumers would still average $2,900 — more than 80 percent as much as under the current House bill. Total costs would still increase by an average of more than $4,000 in 11 states. (See Figure 1.) And lower-income seniors would still be the hardest hit. For example, premiums, net of tax credits, for a 60-year-old with income of $22,000 would increase six-fold, from $1,200 to $7,500.”
In addition to experiencing the largest increase in costs, Alaskans would also see tax credits to help them secure health insurance fall by almost twice as much as any other state:
“Average tax credits would fall sharply under the House bill, by an average of $2,200 (43 percent) for current marketplace consumers in HealthCare.gov states. Consumers in high-cost states would see especially large losses, exceeding $3,000 in 12 states. In North Carolina, Oklahoma, Alabama, Nebraska, Wyoming, West Virginia, and Tennessee, average tax credit losses would range from $4,200 to $5,500, while Alaska consumers would lose an average of $10,500. ”
You can read the full report here.