- J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Not everyone would gain the same benefits under the American Health Care Act, the bill House Republicans have introduced to replace the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare law better known as Obamacare.
Because of differences in the tax-credit structure under the AHCA, older and poorer people would receive less assistance to gain access to care, according to analysis done by nonpartisan groups. Additionally, not every state would benefit in the same way.
The Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health-policy think tank, broke down the AHCA’s tax-credit structure compared with the Affordable Care Act’s.
The key difference is that while the ACA adjusts for income level as well as the cost of living based on place of residence, the AHCA would give a flat credit based on age ranging from $2,000 annually for those under 30 to $4,000 a year for people over age 60.
Based on Kaiser’s analysis, this would shift the cost of healthcare mostly for seniors and poorer Americans, who would see their insurance subsidies fall dramatically under the AHCA.
- Andy Kiersz/Business insider
This also matches with the nonpartisan analysis done by the Congressional Budget Office in a report released Monday. The CBO said the high cost of premiums caused by declining assistance would drive many elderly people out of the market and contribute to its estimate that 24 million fewer Americans would have health insurance by 2026.
The CBO included a comparison similar to Kaiser’s, showing how net premiums, or premiums after tax-credit subsidies, would change under the new law based on income and age. Young Americans and those with higher incomes could end up paying less, but projections suggest older Americans closer to the federal poverty line would see a stark increase in premium costs over the next decade:
- Business Insider/Andy Kiersz, data from CBO
Additionally, unlike the ACA, the AHCA does not adjust its tax credits based on the cost of living for the location where the beneficiary lives. Thus, rural areas where healthcare providers are limited and usually more expensive would see a bigger slash to benefits.
Based on an analysis by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities of how states using the federal Healthcare.gov exchange could be affected by the new law, the biggest loser would be Alaska, with a tax-credit decline of $10,243 on average for individual insurance enrollees. Also, the individual enrollee’s tax credit in North Carolina, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Alabama, Nebraska, and Wyoming would decrease by more than $4,000 on average.
- Andy Kiersz/Business Insider