WASHINGTON, May 24, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond released a statement today following the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) release of new numbers revealing the devastating impact the bill would have on older Americans by imposing an Age Tax, and weakening protections for those with preexisting conditions, further reinforcing concerns raised by AARP. The CBO analysis of the bill passed by the US House of Representatives also predicts that 23 million people could lose health coverage by 2026, leaving 51 million Americans uninsured.
LeaMond said the CBO analysis served as another example that the House legislation would make harmful changes to our current health care system. The bill would also hurt older Americans by decreasing the solvency of Medicare, hiking costs for those who can least afford them, eroding seniors' ability to live independently, and giving tax breaks to big drug companies and health insurance companies:
"AARP reiterates our strong opposition to the harmful bill passed by the House and calls on the Senate to take action by starting a bill from scratch. The CBO analysis found that premiums would go up to unaffordable levels by inflicting an Age Tax and removing current protections for people with common conditions including diabetes and weight gain. Putting a greater financial burden on older Americans is not the way to solve the problems in our health care system.
"According to CBO, premiums for a 64 year old earning $26,500 a year would increase by a whopping $14,400 in 2026. In addition, people with preexisting conditions may not be able to purchase health insurance at all despite funding that would be made available to help reduce premiums.
"CBO notes that 'the legislation would increase the number of uninsured broadly, [and] the increase would be disproportionately larger among older people with lower income; in particular, people between 50 and 64 years old…'
"Additionally, after facing a massive premium increase as we age, the bill weakens Medicare funding, opening the door to turning Medicare into a voucher program that shifts costs for prescriptions and insurance to seniors, at the same time it gives big drug and insurance companies and other special interests a sweetheart deal.
"The plan would cut Medicaid funding by $834 billion, which would jeopardize essential care for 17 million seniors and people with disabilities and shift the cost to states, blowing a giant hole in state budgets and costing state taxpayers billions."
AARP stands ready to work with both parties on legislation that puts Americans' health care first, not the special interests.
AARP is the nation's largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world's largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.
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