To the editor:
The recently proposed AHCA bill (American Health Care Act of 2017) (H.R. 1628) had a very different provision that you should be aware of then what is now in the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. This provision is referred to as an "age tax."
Congress themselves previously passed a restriction of a 3-to-1 ratio, which limited the allowable increase that insurance companies can charge seniors age 50-64. So that works out to be three times the amount charged younger people. In the AHCA proposed bill, the provision that Congress was considering would allow a 5-to-1 ratio or higher in allowable increase that insurance companies can charge. This increase is called "age rating."
This cost shifting would prove to be an extreme hardship on seniors. The profits derived from this bill would boost profits of insurance companies, and now the fact that Congress itself passed the 3-to-1 ratio and is now favoring 5-to-1, that makes them look like they are there to serve the interests of the insurance companies and not the people they represent who are already so hard-pressed to make ends meet.
This is great for insurance companies, but very bad for all seniors. This new bill will also allow CEOs of insurance companies to have unlimited salary increases. This in itself is part of the never-ending cost increases that will just continue to rise.
The question was, is and remains: Can the seniors afford all these increases while on fixed incomes? Seniors at present spend $1 out of every $6 on health care.
And what makes this replacement idea so hard to accept, as we hear so often of the promise to voters to repeal the ACA, is that according to the latest Gallup poll on April 4, 55 percent of Americans say that the current Affordable Care Act of President Obama should remain in place, though 40 percent agree that fixes are needed.
This is why it is necessary for all to protest. Call your Congressman and let your voice be heard!
- Tom Rooney: 941-575-9101 (Punta Gorda)
- Francis Rooney: 239-573-5837 (Naples) or 239-599-6033 (Cape Coral)