Like any other Republican, the GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump isn’t a fan of Obamacare. Even though Trump has repeatedly joined in the swelling conservative chorus of “Repeal and replace!” and there has been a lot of attempted repealing on the part of Conservatives, there hasn’t been a lot of evidence of what they would use to actually replace it, until now.
When Trump revealed his healthcare plan, it has been analyzed by the nonpartisan Center for Health and Economy, a research group that includes both liberal and conservative experts.
The Center for Health and Economy attempted to put hard numbers to Trump’s concepts. According to Yahoo! and News, the numbers attached to Trump’s healthcare plan leave a lot of lower-income Americans out, depriving them from their current healthcare benefits gained under the Affordable Care Act.
According to the analysis, 18 million Americans would lose their coverage if Trump’s plan were to be applied.
Associated Press reports that not only will the loss of insurance fall disproportionately on those who are covered through Medicaid, but the losses would happen quickly.
Let’s say that President Trump and a Republican Congress would actually be able to completely repeal the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid will turn into a bllock grant, meaning that federal money would be limited, and states would have a greater say on how to spend their allotment.
According to AP, those Americans who purchase their insurance directly, there would be “winners and losers.”
Even though the unpopular requirement that all Americans must carry health insurance or else face a penalty would no longer exist, the overwhelmingly popular stipulation that all people have access to affordable coverage, no matter health history or presence of preexisting conditions, would also disappear.
Moreover, by eliminating Affordable Care Act’s preexisting condition clause, the law’s “minimum benefit requirements,” which guarantee that the health insurance policy must meet or exceed basic coverage limits and protections, as well as financial protections, and limitations on health insurance companies to charge higher premiums to older adults, would also all be eliminated.
Those benefits have come with an admittedly higher price tag, mainly for young, healthy adults seeking to purchase health insurance. As for the elimination of such standards and regulations, insurance companies are expected to respond by offering low-cost plans without much actual coverage to young, healthy adults. This means that average premiums will actually decrease by an estimated 20 percent under Trump’s healthcare plan. To put simple, premiums for young people would be significantly reduced — but so would their actual coverage.
Another thing that will face elimination is the online insurance market, HealthCare.gov if Trump’s plan were to be implemented. Together with this, tax credits for premiums and subsidies for out-of-pocket costs will go down.
Even though people will be allowed to deduct their premiums from taxes, according to analysis, a tax deduction does not help nearly as many people as the upfront tax credit, particularly those people whose incomes are modest.
Also, part of those 18 million Americans who will initially lose their health coverage under a President Trump will be able to purchase a different type of coverage. But, by 2026 the number of uninsured people will be13 million more than what is currently projected under Obamacare. Moreover, those 13 million will be mainly older, sicker people who desperately need healthcare.
According to another expert who reviewed the study (but was not involved in the research) the coverage losses could be even deeper than 18 million.
“You are going to get a lot thinner coverage both in terms of higher deductibles and fewer benefits,” said John Holahan of the Urban Institute think tank. “The policy is bad for people with high risk, and good for people with low risk.”
But, that’s not all this study found. There was also “substantial uncertainty” about one of Trump’s main ideas, and a popular Republican talking point; allowing insurers to sell policies across state lines will promote competition and drive costs down. This popular conservative idea could, in 10 years’ time, lead to as many as 7 million people getting individual policies in a generous estimate — or as few as 1 million, the study found.
According to Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a Republican economist, as well as a board member of the center:
“The biggest wild card is (Trump’s) approach to allowing people to buy across state lines.”
The AP reports that some of that uncertainty “stems from the fact that health insurance remains a local and regional business. Costs can vary dramatically around the country. A Texas company selling policies in New York City would have to charge higher premiums. Also, out-of-state insurers might struggle to build the networks of doctors and hospitals needed to attract consumers.”
Concerning this, the Trump campaign hasn’t made any immediate comment.
On the other hand, Hillary Clinton recently formally endorsed part of Senator Bernie Sanders’ healthcare proposals.