Sohn: Trumpcare robs from the poor and gives to the rich

Sohn: Trumpcare robs from the poor and gives to the rich

March 15th, 2017 by Pam Sohn in Opinion Times

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks on the GOP's long-awaited plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Photo by J. Scott Applewhite

Related Article

Critics of GOP health bill get ammunition from budget score

Read more

POLL: Are you concerned the GOP health plan will be more expensive for you?

So Trumpcare will cover everybody, offer more choice and be better?

Not if the GOP plan recently unveiled is what's finally adopted.

The Congressional Budget Office's assessment of the Republican health care bill to replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, estimates that the GOP plan would eventually cut the average insurance premiums for people who buy their own insurance by 10 percent. But the way the bill achieves those lower average premiums requires penalizing older — and sicker — patients.

President Trump's first 100 days

So much for promises of free-market choice and competition to drive lower premiums.

According to the CBO report, the American Health Care Act would make health insurance so unaffordable for many older Americans that they would simply leave the market and join the ranks of the uninsured. With only younger, healthier people in the insurance pools, the premiums will fall. And an estimated 24 million will lose coverage — growing the number of uninsured Americans by 2026 to 52 million.

Under current law, in 2026, a single 21-year-old earning $26,500 with an insurance policy that costs $5,100 a year would get a tax credit or subsidy of $3,400 and would have to pay $1,700 of the premium. Under the Republican bill, that person's share of the cost would drop to $1,450.

But a 64-year-old earning the same amount will get sticker shock: Under Obamacare, that person's $15,300 health plan would be offset by a $13,600 tax credit, leaving the consumer to pay $1,700. Under the Republican plan, health insurers would be free to charge the senior more, raising that person's premium to $19,500. But the tax credit would be only $4,900, and the 64-year-old's share of the premium would then be $14,600 — about 10 times higher than the 21-year-old's.

More than 350,000 people are insured under the ACA in Tennessee.

This is a cruel plan. And by the way, the young people who would save $250 a year are not the real winners in it.

The real winners — the big winners — are the rich and some businesses.

The rich win again because this plan provides a $600 billion tax cut to them over 10 years. Under the ACA, the top 4 percenters helped pay for health care subsidies with a 3.8 percent investment tax and a 0.9 percent surcharge on wages above $250,000.

And some businesses, too, could win if they see an opportunity to stop offering workplace insurance. The GOP plan drops an ACA requirement that companies with more than 50 employees provide their workers with affordable health-care insurance.

Trumpcare, perhaps better dubbed GOPcare, is really just a tax cut for the rich masquerading as a health care plan.

Related Article

14 million would lose coverage under GOP plan, according to Congressional Budget Office

Read more
Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Chattanooga Times Free Press Comments Policy

The Chattanooga Times Free Press web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Times Free Press web sites and any content on the Times Free Press web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Times Free Press, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Times Free Press websites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
400 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: 423-757-6315