Trump Administration

Older adults, Trump supporters worry about the Republican plan for replacing the Affordable Care Act

If you’re wondering how you might fare under the Republican’s plan to replace Obamacare, be sure to read today’s story in The New York Times.

The piece profiles two North Carolinians who are concerned the tax credits will be insufficient to cover the comprehensive care they need. Here’s an excerpt from the story by reporters Abby Goodnough and Reed Abelson:

Logan R. Cyrus for The New York Times

Martha Brawley of Monroe, N.C., said she voted for President Trump in the hope he could make insurance more affordable. But on Tuesday, Ms. Brawley, 55, was feeling increasingly nervous based on what she had heard about the new plan from television news reports. She pays about $260 per month for a Blue Cross plan and receives a subsidy of $724 per month to cover the rest of her premium. Under the House plan, she would receive $3,500 a year in tax credits — $5,188 less than she gets under the Affordable Care Act.

“I’m scared, I’ll tell you that right now, to think about not having insurance at my age,” said Ms. Brawley, who underwent a liver biopsy on Monday after her doctor found that she has an autoimmune liver disease. “If I didn’t have insurance, these doctors wouldn’t see me.”

The Congressional Budget Office has yet to release its official estimates of how many people would lose coverage under the proposal, but a report from Standard & Poor’s estimated that two million to four million people would drop out of the individual insurance market, largely because people in their 50s and early 60s — those too young to qualify for Medicare — would face higher costs. Other analysts, including those at the left-leaning Brookings Institution, have estimated larger coverage losses.

While the tax credits in the Republican proposal are the most generous for older people — $4,000 for a 60-year-old compared with $2,000 for a 25-year-old — they end up covering less of an older person’s costs. As soon as next year, the Republican plan would allow insurers to begin charging older individuals much more than younger individuals. Insurers are prohibited today from charging the older person more than three times as much as the youngest, but the Republican plan would allow them to charge five times as much. A 64-year-old could see annual premiums increase by almost 30 percent to $13,100 on average, according to the S.&P. analysis.

For people like Alan Lipsky, a self-employed consultant in Arden, N.C., the Republican plan could have a huge financial impact. Mr. Lipsky, who is 60 and whose wife is in her 50s, receives a tax credit of $2,097 a month for his family of four and pays $66 a month out of his own pocket. His family’s total annual tax credit of $25,164 would be reduced to $11,500 under the new plan, covering less than half of the total cost of his current coverage.

“I don’t think the Affordable Care Act is perfect,” said Mr. Lipsky, whose family deductible is $12,000 per year, “but at least for people like me it gives a baseline, and I’m worried I won’t have that baseline anymore. What they’re talking about is unaffordable for me.”

“I’m scared, I’ll tell you that right now, to think about not having insurance at my age...” Click To Tweet

Read the full story here.

One Comment


  1. Angela Bridgman

    March 14, 2017 at 10:31 am

    I have crunched the nummbers myself: For me, it costs $2,988 a year more. Now I don’t know abuot any of y’all, but I sure as heck do not have an extra $3,000 just lying arond doing nothing!! I live in a mobile home because it is what I can afford. I drive a seventeen year old car I must constantly fear is going to break down and cost me mmoney I don’t have…because it is what I can afford.

    Not complaining, but I sure as HELL do not need the government that is supposed to look out for the genderal welfare of all citizens..making my already-difficult life even more difficult!! And let’s not even GO THERE with all the other ways this government does everything possible…to make my already-difficult life even ore impossible…just because I am a transgender woman.

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In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.