Closely Watched Insurer Trade Group Weighs In On Obamacare Repeal Bill

A major trade organization for the insurance industry raised a number of a concerns with Republicans’ health care legislation in a letter to GOP leaders surfaced by Bloomberg Wednesday.

The letter, from Marilyn Tavenner, the CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, called for more generous tax credits for consumers to use on the individual market and was skeptical with the bill’s proposal to transform Medicaid into a block grant program with a per capita cap.

“We are concerned that key components of the proposed new funding formulas starting in 2020 – such as the base year selection and annual increases tied to the consumer price index for medical care – could result in unnecessary disruptions in the coverage and care beneficiaries depend on,” said the letter, which was sent to House Ways and Means Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX) and House Energy and Commerce Chair Greg Walden (R-OR).

In addition to the changes to Medicaid, the Republican’s proposed American Health Care Act would rework Obamacare’s tax credits and make them less generous, particularly for lower income people and older consumers. AHIP’s letter called for a system closer to what was laid out in a previous GOP Obamacare replacement proposal, which offered more assistance to older people and to those between 100 and 400 percent of the poverty line.

“Tax credits related to age as well as income will help ensure that more people stay covered, and are the most efficient and effective way to allocate tax-payer dollars,” the letter said.

Under the Republican bill being pushed by congressional leaders now, the tax credits start at $2,000 for individuals under 30 and scale up to $4,000 for those older than 60. They do not adjust by income for those making under $75,000 a year. Those making $75,000 or more would see their credits scale down the more they make.

AHIP is the latest industry force to question the proposals in the Republican bill. Hospital groups have also objected to the legislation, as has the American Medical Association.

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