Winners and losers in House Republican health plan

AP News
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Posted: Mar 24, 2017 5:10 PM
Winners and losers in House Republican health plan

WASHINGTON (AP) — The old and the poor made out great when House Republicans failed Friday to dismantle Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. The rich and the almost rich didn't do so well.

The measure would have repealed major parts of Obama's health law, capping future funding for Medicaid and cutting tax increases for high-income families, health insurance companies and drugmakers.

The bill would have repealed tax credits that people can use to purchase health insurance and replace them with a new tax credit that would have been less generous for most.

The winners, losers and a few in between:

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WINNERS

—Some 24 million additional people who would have been without health insurance by 2026. That's the tally according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.

—Individuals ages 50 to 64. Under the plan, premiums would have gone up and tax credits for most of these people would have gone down. Premium costs for a 64-year-old making $26,500 a year would have increased by $12,900 for a single year, according to the CBO.

—The poor. The bill would have limited future spending on Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor, reducing their benefits.

—The working poor. The bill would have raised taxes for some low-income families because the new tax credits for buying health insurance were smaller than the credits under Obama's health law.

For example, families making between $20,000 and $30,000 would have received tax increases averaging $200, according to the Tax Policy Center.

—Planned Parenthood. The bill would have eliminated all federal funds for the organization that provides health care to women.

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LOSERS

—The rich. The GOP health plan included nearly $1 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade, and much of that would have gone to the very wealthy. Families making more than $1 million a year would have received tax cuts averaging more than $51,000, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.

—The well-off (but not quite rich). Families making more than $200,000 a year would have received tax cuts averaging $5,680.

Also, people with higher incomes would have been eligible for tax credits under the GOP plan. These tax credits are used to help pay insurance premiums for people who don't have insurance at work or from federal programs like Medicare.

—Medical device makers. The bill would have repealed a tax on medical devices, saving the industry $20 billion over the next decade.

—Drugmakers. The bill would have repealed a tax on prescription drugs, saving the industry $29 billion over the next decade.

—Young adults. The bill would have allowed insurers to charge higher premiums as people age and become more susceptible to health problems. Because of this provision, the CBO estimates that younger patients would have seen their premiums drop.

—Healthy people who choose not to have health insurance. The bill would have repealed penalties for not having health insurance.

—Large companies that don't provide health benefits for employees. The bill would have repealed penalties on these employers.

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A BIT OF BOTH

—Health insurance companies. The bill would have repealed a tax on health insurance companies, saving them $145 million over the next decade. However, these companies were projected to lose 24 million customers by 2026.

—States. The bill would have limited the future growth of Medicaid spending, pushing the cost to the states. But the bill also would have provided much more flexibility to states on how they spend this money.

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Follow Stephen Ohlemacher on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephenatap