Monday: Most of key tax benefits goes to millionaires
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has looked repeatedly at the likely effects of the AHCA’s passage, including an earlier determination that states most likely to have backed President Trump in last year’s election would disproportionately see reduced benefit in the form of tax credits.
On Monday, the CBPP offered further analysis using data from the Tax Policy Center. As it turns out, repealing two taxes that are part of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) would offer no benefit at all to people making less than $200,000 a year — and would offer the bulk of its benefits, 79 percent of the total cut, to millionaires.
Overall, millionaires would see tax cuts of $57,000 a year from the passage of the AHCA, $50,000 of which comes from the repeal of the two taxes included in the analysis above.
Tuesday: Fewer people would have insurance under the AHCA than if Obamacare were simply repealed
The New York Times’s Margot Sanger-Katz looked at the CBO’s analysis and realized something surprising: The estimated 24 million fewer people who would have insurance under the AHCA by 2026 is actually one million people higher than if Obamacare were simply repealed.
“Getting rid of the major coverage provisions and regulations of Obamacare would cost 23 million Americans their health insurance, according to another recent CBO report,” Sanger-Katz writes. “In other words, one million more Americans would have health insurance with a clean repeal than with the Republican replacement plan, according to CBO estimates.”
Wednesday: Deductibles will likely increase by 60 percent
Writing for Axios on Wednesday, the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Drew Altman outlined another bit of math from the Republican replacement bill. According to his organization’s calculations, average deductibles from the AHCA would be $1,550 higher than under Obamacare, an increase of more than 60 percent.
Why? Because people will receive smaller subsidies and therefore increasingly choose lower-cost health-care plans that have higher deductible rates. While much of the debate has been over the extent to which insurance premium costs have increased recently — which affects 3 percent of the country — increased deductible costs come out of consumers’ pockets.
On the campaign trail, Trump repeatedly railed against Obamacare’s high deductible costs.
“Nobody can afford it, the deductibles are so high it doesn’t work anyway,” Trump said during a speech in Ohio in early September. “You have to be hit by a truck and die slowly, very, very slowly. You’ll never get to use it. That’s okay — don’t get hit by a truck.”
Republicans have been pushing the American Health Care Act hard, in the face of strong opposition from outside groups and members of their own caucus. The goal has been to have a vote on the bill on Thursday, after the introduction of some tweaks meant to sweeten the pot for balking representatives (and before the CBO analysis of the altered proposal). If the week continues at this pace, though, there may well be new numbers on Thursday morning that further cast the AHCA in an unflattering light.