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AARP: Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill Bad For Elderly

AARP: Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill Bad For Elderly Promo Image

AARP has warned that the passage of the health care bill drafted by Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, known as Graham-Cassidy, would have a negative impact on health care for the elderly.

A Sept. 21 report by the organization found that costs for low to mid-level income earners would rise substantially, according to UPI.

The Graham-Cassidy bill "threatens to make health care unaffordable and inaccessible for millions of older Americans," the AARP report notes.

When premium hikes and out-of-pocket costs are taken into account, the average 60 year old earning $25,000 could see their health care payments increase by more than $16,000 annually.

"The bill eliminates two sources of financial assistance -- premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions -- critical to ensuring that low- to moderate-income older adults are able to afford the coverage they need," it added.

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AARP provided two examples to illustrate those who would be hit hardest.

"For instance, a 60-year old Alaskan earning $25,000 could pay as much as $31,790 more to keep her current coverage," the report states. "In Arizona, that person could pay as much as $22,074 more. This increase is simply unaffordable."

Since Republicans agree it will be their last chance to repeal Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, the Graham-Cassidy bill has a chance of passing, according to CNN.

Graham and Cassidy provided a briefing on the bill to Alaska Sens. Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski on Sept. 20. Murkowski was one of three Republicans who voted against the GOP's last attempt to repeal Obamacare on July 28.

The new plan would get rid of the individual and employer mandates, while also transforming federal funding for Medicaid expansion and subsidies into a block grant.

"I could maybe give you 10 reasons why this bill shouldn't be considered," said Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, according to CNN. "But Republicans campaigned on this so often that you have a responsibility to carry out what you said in the campaign. That's pretty much as much of a reason as the substance of the bill."

The bill has the support of President Donald Trump.

"I hope Republican Senators will vote for Graham-Cassidy and fulfill their promise to Repeal & Replace ObamaCare," he wrote on Twitter on Sept. 20. "Money direct to States!"

After the announcement that the independent Congressional Budget Office would not be able to provide an overall assessment of the bill's impact prior to a vote, concern has been raised that the bill is being rushed through Congress too quickly. Republicans must vote on the bill by the end of September if they want to take advantage of the process known as reconciliation, which allows them to pass a health care bill with just 51 votes.

"We have more than enough information," Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin told CNN. "We've been highly disappointed in how CBO has really conducted themselves throughout this health care process."

Sources: UPI, CNN / Featured Image: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons, Joyce N. Boghosian/The White House/Flickr

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