A new study offers real-world evidence about what would happen if TrumpCare became law. The study takes advantage of data from the Massachusetts healthcare law that ObamaCare was modeled on. Like ObamaCare, Massachusetts requires health insurance subsidies for lower-income households.
When the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) “scored” the first TrumpCare bill, they estimated that 24 million people will lose their health care because they’d no longer be able to afford it. This new study indicates that the actual number will likely be much higher.
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 4, 2017
Massachusetts provides health insurance subsidies for lower-income households by income category. Because of how that plan is structured by income, researchers were able to compare the behavior of families who had slightly different incomes. For example, a family earning $44,701 is in a different subsidy category than a family making $44,699. The difference between the categories can amount to a couple of hundred dollars more per year in insurance payments even though one family only makes $2 more annually than the other family.
The study found that when plans become even slightly more expensive, far fewer lower-income families actually sign up for healthcare. “Most low-income people aren’t willing or able to pay much for health insurance,” says Mark Shepard, a Harvard economist and an author of the new study.
TrumpCare will drastically raise people’s costs. Analysis of the first TrumpCare bill demonstrated that many low-income families will be forced to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars more for insurance. Based on the findings of this new study, the likely outcome is that most families will not purchase health insurance.
Amy Finkelstein of M.I.T., another author of the study notes, “When premiums go up, it’s the healthier enrollees who drop out.” So it is more likely that the people who do buy plans will be sick people. That, in turn, will cause costs to rise even higher.
Nathaniel Hendren of Harvard, the paper’s third author, said that TrumpCare would basically end enrollment in the insurance markets for families that make less than $75,000 a year.
TrumpCare has little support in the healthcare industry, who see it as bad legislation. It’s been heavily criticized by both conservative and liberal health experts, as well as groups representing patients, doctors, nurses and hospitals. Above all, the bill cuts health benefits for the poor, the middle class, the elderly and the sick, while funneling those savings in the form of tax cuts for the rich. That apparently, was enough for the Republican majority in the House to vote for it today.
“AARP is now letting its 38 million members know how their elected Representative voted on this health bill.” pic.twitter.com/5AmY5tiT7W
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) May 4, 2017