How Trumpcare affects optometry
The American Health Care Act (AHCA)—or Trumpcare—will provide fewer people with healthcare coverage than the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare, cost more, and significantly reduce Medicaid funding, says the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and other experts.
The ACHA is supported by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and touted as a “trillion-dollar tax cut.”1 It was released in early March.
Fewer lives covered means that ODs must understand the potential impacts on population health—especially as it pertains to early intervention for chronic conditions and diseases and reducing risk for vision impairment.
The CBO analysis on the AHCA included information on number of people covered, premium costs, and savings.2
• 24 million fewer people covered than under the ACA in 10 years
• Premium costs are projected to be 15 to 20 percent higher in 2018-2019
• The deficit is projected to be reduced by $337 billion over 10 years
Several popular ACA features remain in the AHCA, including:
• No denial or increased costs for pre-existing conditions
• Young adults are able to remain on a parent’s insurance policy until age 26
• Existing Medicaid expansion remains as is until 2020
Penalties imposed under the ACA for not purchasing insurance are removed and replaced with a 30 percent surcharge on premiums if a consumer allows coverage lapse.
ACA subsidies are removed and replaced with new tax credits to subsidize insurance premiums, providing more benefit to younger vs. older people.
For example, a 30-year-old would receive $2,000 to put toward coverage, while a 60-year-old would receive $4,000. The amounts are weighted by age. People in their 50s and 60s are especially at risk for finding affordable coverage.3
The tax credits apply to anyone making up to $75,000 or to a married couple filing jointly making up to $150,000. After that threshold, tax credit amounts phase out in 10 percent increments.