Published: Tue, March 14, 2017
Business | By Sandy Mccarthy

Cuomo: 1 million New Yorkers would lose coverage under GOP health plan

Cuomo: 1 million New Yorkers would lose coverage under GOP health plan

Ever since, whenever anything's gone wrong in the health sector - whenever prices rose, or an insurance company dropped a line of business - Republicans have had an easy target: Obamacare.

A House GOP proposal introduced March 6 would provide substantially less financial help to many consumers in higher-cost areas of California, from San Francisco to Monterey.

From the left, here's Nate Cohn of the New York Times: "The voters hit the hardest - eligible for at least $5,000 less in tax credits under the Republican plan - supported Mr. Trump by a margin of 59 percent to 36 percent".

Seven years ago, Barack Obama's Democrats passed a health insurance law that promised to cover nearly everyone and make medical care more affordable. The charm offensive marks Trump's first major leap into the legislative battles of Washington, prompting comparisons between Mr Trump's career as a deal-maker and his role as Republican-in-chief. The subsidy takes into account the person's income and the cost of insurance in the coastal town.

Session's bill will have to go up against the "American Health Care Act" which was introduced by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and other House Republicans on Monday. A 60-year-old making $20,000 a year in the same town would be even worse off, because his low income wouldn't be part of the calculation. Under the GOP legislation, what is now an open-ended financial commitment from the federal government would become a capped system, in which federal money is doled out on a per-capita basis, rather than rising or falling as state programs change.

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Pitt County's other congressional representative, Wilson Democrat G.K. Butterfield, adamantly opposes the Republican plan.

Just look at the GOP's approach to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). She has to pay her entire premium. That would be gone under the House plan. It provides much lower subsidies, on average, for people who buy health coverage on the individual market. The upper limit under Obamacare is 400 percent of the federal poverty level or about $47,000 for an individual and more than $97,000 for a family of four.

President Trump circled the wagons with House GOP leaders to try to get recalcitrant Republicans to support their plan to pass a repeal of Obamacare on Friday.

"This plan will cost Americans more money while providing fewer protections and will lead to millions losing healthcare altogether", Butterfield said earlier this week. "That might be millennials living in Los Angeles". Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has said she will vote against the bill if the freeze remains. Among the biggest are repeals of two ACA surtaxes on the highest earners: a 0.9 percent payroll tax add-on and a 3.8 percent tax on net investment income for couples whose incomes exceed $250,000 ($200,000 for individuals).

Older, poorer New Yorkers would pay more insurance coverage under the plan, while younger, wealthier ones would pay less, Cuomo said. But premiums in the Santa Cruz-Monterey area jumped by almost 29 percent. It says that the tax credits at the center of the plan can not be spent at all on any health care plan that covers abortion (aside from the Hyde Amendment's exceptions). The hope is that lower tax credits could put pressure on insurers or medical providers to charge less. He is legally constrained about what he can say publicly about his future steps in the rulemaking process, since his comments could affect markets, Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.) said in a brief interview this week. The ultra-rich Mitt Romney, for his part, characterized half the country as takers who didn't pay their fair share. Ryan, at his news conference, said a return to pre-ACA days is not possible because "Obamacare damaged" US health care. While Obamacare took local costs of healthcare into consideration, tax credits under the Republican plan are the same as in states like Alaska and NY.

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