Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) called the Senate’s plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, dubbed the Better Care Reconciliation Act, a “pay-more-for less political scheme.” Higgins made the comments as the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its analysis of the legislation.
“The more you dig into this bill, the dirtier it gets,” said Congressman Brian Higgins. “It is really unconscionable to consider the impact this will have on our most vulnerable populations – seniors, children, people with disabilities and the sick. This isn’t about popular politics; this is about people’s lives. When are people going to realize that?”
Highlighting just a few of the findings in the CBO report:
- CBO and Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that, in 2018, 15 million more people would be uninsured under this legislation than under current law
- The increase in the number of uninsured people relative to the number projected under current law would reach 19 million in 2020 and 22 million in 2026.
- By 2026, an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law.
- Allows insurers to charge older people premiums that are up to five times higher than those charged younger people
- Cuts Medicaid by $772 billion (cuts to the poor, elderly and disabled)
- A 64-year-old making just under $57,000 will go from paying $6,800 under the ACA to $20,500 under the GOP plan for the same amount of coverage.
- Increases the number of uninsured people substantially. The increase would be disproportionately larger among older people with lower incomes—particularly people between 50 and 64 years old with income of less than $30,300. (see chart below)
Perks for insurance companies and the wealthy:
- Removes the federal cap on the percentage of premiums that can go to insurance company profits.
- Repeals the surtax on certain high-income taxpayers’ net investment income, effective for tax years beginning after December 2016.
- Repeals the increase in the Hospital Insurance payroll tax rate for certain high income taxpayers, effective for earned income received beginning in 2023.
Today the American Medical Association also issued a letter stating their strong opposition to the “Better Care Reconciliation Act” maintaining the bill violates the “first, do no harm” standard in medicine “on many levels.”