The Congressional Budget Office new findings and how they would affect residents of our congressional district (CD1):
On May 24th, the Congressional Budget Office issued new scores on the amendments to the original Republican health care bill. The following assessment looks at how these new figures would affect residents of our Congressional District. Congressman Doug LaMalfa voted for the AHCA with the new amendments, BEFORE the CBO revised estimates of its impact on his constituents.
First, CD1 has about 710,000 residents.
We have about 150,000 residents between the ages of 50 to 64, about 21%.
According to the CBO, these people would be hit hardest by the Trumpcare. Figures quoted in the New York Times article, “New CBO Score: GOP Health Bill Would Save Government Billions but Leave Millions Uninsured,” indicate that premiums for a single individual aged 64, earning $26,500 annually could see their insurance premiums jump from $1700 to $13,600 (I’m quoting the figure for states with “some regulation changes.” We would definitely see California do all they could to protect vulnerable seniors, but their hands would be tied by the draconian provisions of the national law.)
How would CD1 residents with pre-existing conditions fare?
As far as “pre-existing conditions,” CD1 has approximately 72,000 people between ages 0 and 64 who the Census lists as having a disability. These people would definitely be considered to have pre-existing conditions.
Many more who have high blood pressure, diabetes, a history of cancer and heart disease are not considered “disabled,” but would be considered by insurance companies to have a pre-existing condition. Each of these people would be faced with insurance rates that are unaffordable.
The CBO chastised the Republicans for stating that their bill would “protect people with pre-existing conditions.” The report stated that the $8 billion set aside to create risk pools to help these people pay higher premiums isn’t nearly enough. People with pre-existing conditions would be facing the same problems they faced before the ACA became law – astronomical insurance rates, or inability to get insurance at all.
But aren’t the Republicans claiming that premiums will go down?
True, the Republican plan would mean that premiums for some policies could go down about 10 to 30 percent in states that applied for waivers. Waivers would allow insurance companies to offer skimpier plans that don’t cover things like reproductive health, office visits, drug addiction treatment, and more. The CBO report states that by providing choice options with limited coverage and low premiums, the insurance received would have little value, and older, sicker people would be priced out of the insurance market altogether.
What about reducing the deficit?
The touted savings to the federal government of $119 billion in a decade would be achieved largely by cutting Medicaid and reducing tax credits for middle-income insurance buyers.
In CD1, 25,000 people are receiving coverage through the ACA exchanges. We don’t have exact figures, but looking at incomes in CD1 at the Census website, we can expect that most are receiving some kind of subsidy to help them afford their insurance.
Another 79,000 CD1 residents are on Medicaid – that’s over 10% of the population. These people could lose the help they need to access the health care they need so that Republicans can claim a deficit reduction over the next 10 years.
8500 people in this district, people with incomes over $200,000 would receive a tax cut.