President Donald Trump endorsed the Republican replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act March 6, a plan that does not protect all citizens, especially low income Americans with health problems.
This plan will, thank God, prohibit insurance companies form denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions and will allow children to stay on their parent’s insurance until they are 26 years old.
Unfortunately, this plan uses age-based tax credits to replace the subsidies the ACA provided for little to no income and middle class Americans. But what’s the problem with that? This is an age-based incentive to buy health insurance, the younger you are the lower your tax credit. The older you are the larger your tax credit. These tax credits are supposed to be used by American to help pay for their health insurance coverage. The problem is, the tax credits have nothing to do with a person’s health. The worse your health is the more money your insurance company is going to spend on you, so your premiums go up, and you spend more money. So, in theory a 24 year-old with cancer will receive a smaller tax credit that a perfectly healthy 61 year old, even though the 24 year-old will be spending much more money on healthcare. Trump believes this won’t be a problem though, because when we have an open market system for health insurance companies, this will cause them to keep their rates low so their customers won’t move to another healthcare company with lower rates.
That’s kind of like when one pharmaceutical company raised the cost of their EpiPens and all the other companies decided if that company could get away with it they could, too. The price of EpiPens everywhere skyrocketed because pharmaceutical companies knew people had to have them despite their insane cost. People who need health insurance because of medical conditions will be put in the same position of needing something they can’t afford and this plan does nothing to help them.