Paul Ryan – Trump Healthcare Plan Increases Out-Of-Pocket Costs For Seniors [Opinion]

The Paul Ryan – Trump endorsed – healthcare plan that the Republicans claimed was going to be infinitely superior to Obamacare and that Trump himself promised would ensure everyone got superior coverage now looks to be doing the opposite. As noted by The Washington Post, many of those seniors who chose to vote for Donald Trump in the expectation – clearly misplaced – that he would keep his promises regarding protecting their healthcare are in for a nasty surprise.

As reported by CNN, the American Health Care Act proposed by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and the Republicans and supported by Donald Trump will have a devastating impact on older Americans who have not yet reached the age of retirement – meaning they don’t yet have access to Medicare.

For instance, the AARP notes that the average 55-year-old earning around $25,000 a year can – under the Obamacare plan – choose a silver plan costing them roughly $1,700 on average. Under the Paul Ryan – Trump healthcare plan, this same individual would be paying $3,600.

In other words, their upfront cost for participating in this plan would more than double. Looked at in another way, instead of using approximately seven percent of their limited income to pay the premiums for their healthcare insurance, they would instead be paying approximately 14 percent. And this amount doesn’t begin to cover deductibles and copayments.

This isn’t exactly the full healthcare that candidate Donald Trump promised the electorate prior to the November 2016 election results. But Trump and his Republican allies in Congress have a response.

These Republicans argue that it only makes sense for older Americans to pay more since they are more likely to be sick than younger Americans. However, this overlooks the fact that healthy people paying for unhealthy people is at the very core of how insurance is supposed to work.

The entire point of healthcare insurance is that individuals who are well today will help to pay for the sick today. In the same way, when they are themselves sick at some later point in their lives years from now, young workers will then be paying into the insurance program to help pay for the healthcare of these new seniors.

Suggesting otherwise is like suggesting that only people who get robbed should have to pay taxes to help support law enforcement. While everyone knows that Republicans, in general, would like to shift all public responsibilities onto individuals, it’s unclear that a society can actually function in that way.

Interestingly, no members of the Senate or the House of Representatives are clamoring to have their own taxpayer provided healthcare reduced or modified in any way.

Certainly, the seniors who voted for Donald Trump are unlikely to vote for him again – or any other Republican – if they find their healthcare costs suddenly skyrocketing under Republican rule. For years, the Republicans were able to hinder, attack, and denounce Obamacare by claiming they could create something better.

But now that they actually have control of the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, it’s become quite clear that they never had any plan for how to go about replacing Obamacare with anything else. They have a tiger by the tail and don’t know what to do with it.

As noted by the CBO, the Paul Ryan American Health Care Act – if implemented – will have the effect of ultimately throwing as many as 24 million people off the insurance rolls. While this will have a devastating impact on a large percentage of the US population, it will also have crushing consequences for the future of the Republican Party.

[Featured Image by Zach Gibson/Getty Images]