Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Why Households With Income Below $75,000 Lose Insurance

A new study of the Massachusetts healthcare plan, that is similar to the ACA, shows why House plan is even worse that we thought.  The Massachusetts plan is segmented by income levels.  It shows that enrollment in the plan is very price sensitive.  Low income families have little excess income to pay for health insurance.  Instead they rely upon going the hospital emergency rooms for care.  Applying the price sensitivity information to Republican plan showed that families with incomes below $75,000 would not enroll in the Republican plan.  That conclusion is even more damaging than the findings of the CBO which made a more conservative estimate of the millions who would lose coverage under Trumpcare without knowledge of the price sensitivity that was discovered by the analysis of the Massachusetts plan.

The Republicans were ecstatic during their celebration when the House plan finally passed.  They passed a plan that would make insurance unavailable to families with incomes below $75,000 in order to cut taxes for high income families by $880 billion over 10 years.  The Senate will not pass the House plan as it was written but Republicans in the Senate are having conversations with members of the House Freedom Caucus to determine what they require in order to pass a plan revised by the Senate.  They won't get much support from the Freedom Caucus for any plan increases access for poor families.  The Freedom Caucus is married to the idea that people should only buy what they can  afford.  They want the price system to perform its rationing function.

The Republicans are not really as heartless as they seem.  They really do care about their fellow citizens.  They were brought to tears when they understood that households with $1 million of income had to pay $50,000 in taxes under Obamacare.  The worked endlessly to eliminate that tax in order to restore their lost income.  What we really need in America is a political party that will eliminate the loopholes in our tax system that are exploited by those who can afford to hire lawyers who are more familiar with the loopholes than most Americans,  Donald Trump told his supporters that he was the best person to do that because he understood the tax code.  His tax proposal increases the loopholes available for struggling billionaires.  They are reported in the press but it will take more than that to increase public awareness.  It will take a political party that makes that a priority.

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