WBZ-TV News’ Political Analyst Jon Keller interviewed Jon Kingsdale, an EMHL faculty member who, as Keller noted, was previously chosen by then-Governor Mitt Romney to be the founding director of Massachusetts’ Health Care Connector. Keller asked Kingsdale to comment on the potential of a draft copy of an Obamacare replacement bill that, at the time of taping, was circulating in the House to realize Trump’s promise to make health insurance affordable for all.
Kingsdale identified the following features proposed in the proposed plan that would undermine Trump’s goal to bring down consumer costs. This is not an analysis of the Republican bill announced on March 6, 2017 though Kingsdale’s critique still applies.
- Deep spending cuts in Medicaid which will increase the burden on low-income individuals to afford insurance, and on states to maintain generous Medicaid eligibility standards.
- Insufficient tax credits capped at $4,000 for those over 60 years old – just enough to fix a broken bone, according to Keller – that could boost consumer premiums five- to ten-fold when coupled with the reduction in subsidies.
- Significant penalties for consumers who don’t maintain continuous coverage which Kingsdale argues is based on the same Obamacare logic that financial viability depends on compelling unwilling consumers to pay into the system. “Replace and rename” is Kingsdale’s sarcastic description of this.
- Survival of the “Cadillac tax” on employer-based plans that impacts a substantial percentage of insured, even though a slew of unpopular Obamacare taxes are eliminated. (Update: according to the New York Times, the Republican bill announced on March 6, suspends the tax from 2020 through 2024.)
Keller concludes this story by saying, “Bottom line – your health care bills are going up under Trumpcare, big league.” Either that, Kingsdale adds, “or we’re gonna have to confront some very very difficult choices about who gets benefits.”
To watch this CBS news segment, go here.