Republicans are once again contemplating a repeal of Obamacare and that could be really bad news for older Americans who could see their health care premiums dramatically increase.
“Some conservative activists unable to surrender their long-held dream of repealing Obamacare are poised to release a long-shot plan next month to resurrect their failed effort, despite massive political odds against such a measure ever becoming law anytime soon,” reports the Washington Post.
Last time Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) and congressional Republicans tried to repeal the popular health care law, they included a provision to charge people between the ages of 50 and 64 (those too young for Medicare) five times what they can charge younger consumers.
The AARP dubbed this provision an “age tax,” and vehemently opposed the entire Republican health care effort. Their analysis showed that Rohrabacher-backed changes could have increased annual premiums for a 64 year-old by up to $8,400. “In addition to these skyrocketing premiums,” the AARP said in a letter to Congress, “out-of-pocket costs could significantly increase under the bill.”
On their website, AARP is adamant about the inequitable nature of Republican efforts.
It’s an outrage that anyone in the U.S. Congress could expect people over age 50 to pay thousands more for health coverage. Even more outrageous? The fact that the very same bill gives big pharmaceutical firms and large insurance companies a massive $200 billion tax break.
In addition to bilking older residents out of thousands of dollars, the Republican plan eliminated protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. Rohrabacher and Republicans gleefully voted to allow insurers “to charge people significantly more if they had a pre-existing condition like heart disease, cancer, diabetes or arthritis — possibly requiring people to pay thousands of dollars extra every year to remain insured,” according to Politifact.
In California, there are 2.6 million people aged 50-64 who have a pre-existing condition.
While Rohrabacher and every California Republican voted for these provisions, the bill failed to become law because it could not pass the Senate.
But with the renewed effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, there very well could be a renewed effort to impose an “age tax.”
Between an age tax and a higher costs for pre-existing conditions, Rohrabacher seems determined to make health care more expensive for many of his own constituents.