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Impact of the American Health Care Act on Virginia

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The American Health Care Act would make health care unaffordable and inaccessible for millions of Americans. The impacts of the bill on Virginians are listed below.

 

The bill reduces funding for Medicare, which will negatively affect beneficiaries.

 

The bill repeals a 0.9 percent payroll tax on higher-income workers, which would remove over $100 billion over ten years from the Hospital Insurance trust fund. This would hasten the insolvency of Medicare and diminish Medicare’s ability to pay for services in the future. The bill also removes nearly $25 billion in required payments from pharmaceutical companies over ten years from the Part B trust fund, which would increase premiums for people on Medicare.

  • In 2016, Medicare provided coverage for 1,278,122 Virginians of all ages, or about 15 percent of the state’s population.
  • About 85 percent of Virginians with Medicare are over age 65 and 15 percent are younger people with disabilities under the age of 65.

 

To tell your Senator to vote NO on this bill that will hurt Medicare.

 

The bill unfairly penalizes older Americans with an Age Tax.

 

The bill discriminates against 6.1 million Americans ages 50-64 in the individual (non-group) health insurance market by allowing insurance companies to charge older people five times or more what others pay for the same coverage. At the same time, it significantly reduces tax credits now available to lower and middle-income older persons to help pay premium costs.

  • About 172,740 (or 11 percent of) Virginians between the ages of 50 and 64 are enrolled in the individual market and would be impacted by the AHCA’s age tax.
  • 50- to 64-year-olds comprise 35 percent of all adults receiving premium tax credit assistance in Virginia.

 

The Age Tax would significantly increase premiums.

 

  • A 55-year-old Virginian earning $25,000 annually could see her premium increase by as much as $3,889.
  • A 64-year-old Virginian earning $25,000 annually could see his premium increase by as much as $7,364.

 

 Tell your Senator to vote NO on this age tax.

 

  Virginians simply cannot afford to pay the higher premiums .

 

  • In 2015, half of all Virginians ages 50-64 buying insurance in the individual market have incomes of $19,789 or less a year.

 

The bill removes protections for people with pre-existing health conditions.

 

It would allow insurance companies to once again charge higher premiums based on a person’s health condition (known as medical underwriting), significantly raising premiums and making health care unaffordable.

  • About 612,746 (or 38 percent of) 50-64 year olds in Virginia have a preexisting condition.

Tell your Senator not to hurt people with pre-existing conditions. 

The bill weakens protections for people with individual and employer coverage.

It allows states to waive federal standards for minimum coverage (known as Essential Health Benefits) allowing insurers to sell less comprehensive, potentially even skimpy coverage. The bill also weakens protections that ensure a person doesn’t end up with catastrophic out-of-pocket costs. This weakening includes the requirement that insurance companies must limit consumers’ annual out-of-pocket costs (such as deductibles and copays). It also includes the ban on insurance companies setting caps on how much they would cover annually, or over a person’s lifetime. These changes would affect people in the individual market and those with employer-sponsored coverage. The result would be less choice and reduced access to needed services for people with pre-existing conditions or who need medical care.

  • 172,740 (or 11 percent of) Virginians ages 50-64 receive coverage through the individual market and could be affected by the bill.
  • 1,054,670 (or 66 percent of) Virginians ages 50-64 receive coverage through their employer, and they too could be affected by the bill.

 

Tell your Senator to vote AGAINST this bill that weakens employer coverage.

 

The bill cuts over $800 billion from Medicaid.

 

The bill creates a capped financing structure in the Medicaid program and cuts $839 billion – nearly 25 percent-- over ten years. Both per capita cap and block grant financing would likely shift significant costs to states, state taxpayers, and families. The bill could lead to cuts in provider payments, program eligibility, services, or all of the above – ultimately harming some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens.

  • In 2017, more than 995,000 Virginians received health coverage and long-term services and supports (LTSS) through Medicaid.
  • In FY 2013, about 204,000 low-income Medicare beneficiaries in Virginia received Medicaid.

Most people prefer to receive LTSS in their homes and communities. Nursing home care is generally more expensive than serving people in the community, but home and community-based services (HCBS) is an optional service in Medicaid. Cutting federal Medicaid spending jeopardizes access to HCBS, forcing people to rely on more expensive nursing home care.

Virginia spent an average of $26,673 per Medicaid enrollee receiving HCBS compared to $31,186 per Medicaid enrollee served in a nursing facility.

 

Tell your Senator to VOTE NO on this bad bill!

 

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