Monday, June 12, 2017

Another Dissenting Voice on AHCA

The Albany Times Union finds much to dislike in Paul Ryan's monster.

The proposed federal legislation, currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate, would destabilize the individual health insurance market and increase premiums and out-of-pocket costs for lower-income New Yorkers who buy policies through NY State of Health, the state’s online exchange established under Obamacare.

Of particular concern for New York, the report said, are tax credits in the Republican proposal that are based on age rather than income or the cost of coverage, as under the current system.


Funding for about 25 percent of New York’s Essential Plan would also be cut under the Republican proposal, the UHF report said. The Essential Plan offers health coverage with premiums of $20 a month or less to about 650,000 New Yorkers above the income eligibility level for Medicaid.

Thank you, Governor Cuomo.

Earlier this week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signaled his intent to maintain Obamacare in New York, with the announcement of emergency regulations that would keep the federal law’s provisions intact and penalize health insurers if they withdraw from NY State of Health.

Of course, that was gentle compared to the Washington Post.

Key Republicans understand the damage they are doing. “Insurers have made clear the lack of certainty is causing 2018 proposed premiums to rise significantly,” House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Tex.) said Thursday, arguing that Congress should step in. As the administration still appears determined to stoke uncertainty, lawmakers would have to move quickly to prevent more damage.

The question of cost-sharing reductions is only the biggest of many fears the Trump administration is inspiring. The president’s maladministration could include lax enforcement of the individual mandate to purchase health insurance, inadequate efforts to enroll more people in coverage and other gratuitous subversions of the finely tuned system Obamacare sought to create.

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