More Information About Trumpcare Was Just Released - And It Doesn't Look Good

Two new studies have revealed just how devastating the American Health Care Act (AHCA) could be if it passes and replaces the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Taken together, they paint a picture of a bill that would cost up to a million jobs, restore caps on insurance coverage to millions of people, throw millions of others off their insurance, and could possibly send the economy spiraling back into recession.

With the Trump-Russia story dominating news coverage, and the bill being debated and written in secrecy, almost nothing has been revealed about what's actually in the Senate's version of the AHCA. But using the text of the version the House passed in May, and the known impact of repealing the ACA, these studies show just how bad the bill could be.


Financial protections for employer plans would be reduced or eliminated

The economic think tank Center for American Progress combined employer surveys and census data to measure the negative impact of states being able to waive essential benefits, and found that "the Senate bill would erode or eliminate financial protections for about 27 million workers and their dependents."

The bill being written in the Senate would allow states to waive coverage of essential health benefits for small employer and individually purchased plans. Under the ACA, plans were barred from placing annual or lifetime limits on essential health benefits. These included potentially financially devastating conditions requiring expensive drugs, major surgery and recovery, or care for post-birth complications.

Additionally, under current law, large employers can choose any state’s standard for what its health plan deems essential health benefits. Because the ACA mandates what essential benefits are, this is irrelevant. But under the AHCA, employers could now choose standards from a state that waived essential benefits. One survey found that "20 percent [of large employers] said they would impose annual limits and 15 percent said they would impose lifetime limits."

A return to lifetime limits would mean that "unlimited coverage for basic services like mental health, prescription drugs, and maternity coverage could disappear," according to the Center for American Progress. It could also send millions of people even deeper into medical debt.

As many as 1 million jobs could be lost.

A study published this week, authored by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University and The Commonwealth Fund, found that the AHCA could be a serious job killer, and devastate the health care industry.

While the bill might cause an initial spike in hiring due to repeals of certain taxes, this would quickly be offset by the impact of millions of people no longer being able to afford health insurance, and others prevented from accessing health care by lifetime limits.

These gains would quickly be wiped out, and "by 2026, 924,000 jobs would be lost, gross state products would be $93 billion lower, and business output would be $148 billion less. About three-quarters of jobs lost (725,000) would be in the health care sector," according to the survey.

Here are the ten states hit hardest by job loss within the next decade, according to the survey:

  1. New York (86,000)
  2. Pennsylvania (85,000)
  3. Florida (83,000)
  4. Michigan (51,000)
  5. Illinois (46,000)
  6. New Jersey (42,000)
  7. Ohio (42,000)
  8. North Carolina (41,000)
  9. California (32,000)
  10. Tennessee (28,000)

Six of these are states that Trump won in the 2016 election.

At this point, a vote on the bill could happen as soon as late June. If the possibility of higher costs and job loss concerns you, ATTN: has provided guidelines for how to get in touch with your Senator.