In a letter to Republican House leaders on Tuesday, the AARP voiced staunch opposition to House Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, warning that the bill could dramatically increase costs for seniors and harm other vulnerable Americans.
“This bill would weaken Medicare’s fiscal sustainability, dramatically increase health care costs for Americans aged 50-64, and put at risk the health care of millions of children and adults with disabilities, and poor seniors who depend on the Medicaid program for long-term services and supports and other benefits,” Joyce Rogers, the senior vice president for governmental affairs at AARP, wrote in the letter.
Rogers wrote that the AARP is very concerned about a provision in the bill that would let insurers charge older Americans five times more than younger Americans. Obamacare had restricted companies to charging older Americans just three times more.
The AARP warned that age rating, paired with a reduction in subsidies made available to offset the cost of health care, could cause costs to spike drastically for Americans aged 50-64.
“When we examined the impact of both the tax credit changes and 5:1 age rating, our estimates find that, taken together, premiums for older adults could increase by as much as $3,600 for a 55-year old earning $25,000 a year, $7,000 for a 64-year old earning $25,000 a year and up to $8,400 for a 64-year old earning $15,000 a year,” she wrote.
The AARP is concerned that the Republican bill repeals a provision from Obamacare, an additional payroll tax on high-income workers, that strengthened Medicare’s solvency.
The group also wrote that changes to the Medicaid program in the new health care legislation “could endanger the health, safety, and care of millions of individuals who depend on the essential services provided” through that program.
“In providing a fixed amour of federal funding per person, this approach to financing would likely result in overwhelming costs shifts to states, state taxpayers, and families unable to shoulder the costs of care without sufficient federal support,” Rogers wrote in the letter. “This would result in cuts to program eligibility, services, or both – ultimately harming some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.”
Read the letter in full below: