Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr don’t represent the majority of Americans, they only represent the top 0.1%. The top 0.1% that they represent will receive tax breaks instead of premium hikes like most Americans relying on the ACA will face, if Trumpcare passes. The two North Carolina Senators are failing to understand anyone other than the top 0.1%. It’s time for them to take into account the premium raises the elderly and low-income families will face.
Let’s say you were 60 years old, just four years older than Tillis, and from Mecklenburg County, as he is. If you made $40,000 and purchased a Bronze plan on the Affordable Care Act exchange, you’d pay about $1,100 in premiums after tax credits. Under the Republican health plan – the Better Care Reconciliation Act – you would pay $5,420, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation analysis. That’s an increase of 393 percent.
What if you were Richard Burr, but without his income? You’ve just passed your 60th birthday, as he has, and you hail from the same Forsyth County. If you made $50,000 and decided on the Bronze ACA plan, you’d pay $2,360 in premiums after tax credits. Under the BRCA, you’d pay $17,210, a 629 percent increase.
If you’re fortunate enough to make $75,000, it doesn’t matter what plan you choose. Your premiums would go up only 34 percent.
But if you are actually Thom Tillis or Richard Burr, then you are worth millions of dollars each and don’t worry about insurance premiums in the same way. You also don’t fret so much about the Congressional Budget Office’s score of the BCRA on Monday, which estimated that 22 million people would lose insurance coverage compared with Obamacare – including 15 million in the first year.
None of those people, of course, would be the wealthy that Thom Tillis or Richard Burr represent. The wealthy not only can afford whatever health plan they choose – they would benefit from the BRCA eliminating taxes the Affordable Care Act levied on high-income Americans.
But if you live in rural part of their state, or any state, you might feel differently. That’s especially true if you’re elderly or potentially a patient at a rural hospital that treats a large share of low-income patients. “Let’s not mince words,” Bruce Siegel, president of a national coalition of about 300 such hospitals, said this week. “This bill will close hospitals. It will hammer rural hospitals, it will close nursing homes. It will lead to disabled children not getting services. … People will die.”
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