Politics

Who Saves Under the Republican Health Care Plan?

Republicans released an updated version of their health care plan, the American Health Care Act, this week.

Paul Ryan

While it doesn't address many of the major concerns moderate Republicans and Democrats have expressed about the legislation — namely that it will drive up premium costs for older Americans and leave millions uninsured — it does come with even more tax cuts.

As the the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported, the latest version of the bill will push forward by one year tax cuts reserved for individuals and couples with incomes greater than $200,000 and $250,000, respectively

"Specifically, the updated bill would eliminate, for 2017, two taxes that fall only on high-income filers: the additional Hospital Insurance (HI) payroll tax on high earners and the Medicare tax on unearned income," Tax Policy Fellow Brandon DeBot writes.

Who Benefits?

On Tuesday, Mother Jones political blogger Kevin Jones used the center's data for a short blog post centered on a simple chart that doesn't require much explanation.

In short, people earning more than $200,000 will be benefit quite a lot from these cuts. Those earning less than 200,000 won't benefit at all.

This is the latest example of the Republican health care plan unequally distributing its benefits.

The Republican plan would replace Obamacare's income-based subsidies with age-based tax credits, which people are supposed to use toward purchasing insurance. Under Obamacare, people making more than 400-percent of the federal poverty level are excluded from subsidies, but the Republican plan would provide those same people with up to $4,000 per year to buy insurance despite their income, CNN reports. Enrollees would benefit differently under the plan based on age, according to CNN's report, which cited an analysis by the Kaiser Foundation. Kaiser concluded that younger people could also be winners in the GOP plan, because they would pay lower premiums.

But as CNN reports, there are potential losers, too.

Lower-income folks making $20,000 a year take the biggest hit at any age under the GOP plan, Kaiser found. A 27-year-old would get only $2,000, instead of $3,225 under Obamacare, on average, while a 40-year-old would get $3,000 versus nearly $4,143.

The biggest loser? According to the Kaiser Analysis, it's a 60-year-old with a low income, who would get a $4,000 tax-credit, less than half of the $9,874 they got through Obamacare.