This year we have been tracking the evolution of healthcare in the United States under the Trump administration, from the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) bills failing to pass through Congress, the expiration of the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) which covers 9 million children—many of whom have chronic health conditions—to Executive Orders undermining the Affordable Care Act (ACA; aka Obamacare) to the effect of destabalizing the insurance markets, causing confusion among consumers and higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs. More recently the U.S. Congress has been focused on tax reform, though critics have described efforts as a healthcare repeal disguised as a tax bill. This week the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has scored the Senate’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act bill that, if

passed, could take effect on January 1, 2018.   For those concerned with America’s growing debt, the CBO analysis finds the $1.4 trillion would be added to the federal deficit over the next decade. Critics decry raising taxes for lower-income families while lowering taxes for those who make over $100,000 annually. The primary concern to poor Americans comes from the tax bill’s effect on health care. The Senate’s tax bill repeals the Obamacare individual mandate that requires almost all Americans to have health insurance or else pay a penalty. As with all previous attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the CBO has calculated that the change would cause insurance premiums to rise leading to millions losing their insurance in the…

Donald Trump, President of the United States, has taken steps to systematically change America’s health insurance system. He has failed on his promise to pass healthcare reform through Congress due to lack of support, mostly from the destabilization the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) would have caused for premium costs and uninsured rates. The morning of October 12 he signed an Executive Order undermining the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and opens the door to low-benefit insurance despite lack of Congressional support. Later that night, Trump ordered an immediate end to subsidies to insurance companies that help cover low-income Americans between 100% to 250% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).   Trump has repeatedly called the ACA (aka Obamacare) a “disaster” that is

“failing” despite the more than 50 million uninsured in 2009 decreasing to 28 million uninsured by 2017. Since taking office the Trump administration has been criticized for “sabotaging Obamacare” by using ACA funds for anti-Obamacare ad campaigns, cutting the enrollment period in half, and planning weekly 12-hour maintenance outages to the ACA enrollment websites during the enrollment period. These most recent executive orders enables insurers to offer plans that provide few benefits, so seemingly less expensive premiums would leave patients with high out-of-pocket costs, and directly impacts low-income Americans and may lead to many losing coverage or making impossibly difficult decisions of whether to eat or receive health care. In a recent blog post we dove into the details of understanding health insurance, including…

We have been tracking the new healthcare bill being proposed by the U.S. House of Representatives, the American Health Care Act (AHCA). After passing the House last month, the bill was sent to the United States Senate where it was redrafted into the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), which they are planning on holding the vote for after the July 4th recess. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released their analysis report on the BCRA’s impact on the Federal deficit and American’s premiums and insurance status.   Previous CBO scores for Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal/replace bills have shown millions of Americans would lose health insurance while premiums rise for several years before falling, primarily for the healthiest and youngest Americans

while older people and those with pre-existing conditions could see much higher healthcare costs. The analysis of the most recent bill concurs that 49 million Americans under 65 years old would be without health insurance (compared to the projected 28 million under the Affordable Care Act). The CBO also cuts funding to Medicaid by $772 billion over the next ten years; enrollment is expected to fall by more than 15 million people by 2026, 57% of which covers children or disabled Americans. As found in previous reports, premiums are expected to rise leading up to 2020. Premiums would rise an average of 74%, with Americans under 18 years old seeing a 10% increase in premiums while they would more than double for those 55 and older. Analysis also found…