TEAM DML continues to receive emails about the confusion around the American Health Care Act. Currently, the bill sits with the Senate. Reportedly, the Senate will amend the current bill and present something new. But in the interim, the question remains, “Will the bill as written cause a hardship for older Americans?” According to DML, the answer is “yes.”
A shortage of retirement savings and skyrocketing health care costs are hampering the efforts of older Americans to retire, and it looks like things will not get better any time soon.
The new healthcare bill approved by the House weeks ago, essentially imposes an “age tax” on elderly Americans.
Prior to passing the healthcare bill, House Speaker Paul Ryan told members, “We have the opportunity to show that we’ve got the resolve to tackle the big challenges in this country before they tackle us,” and stated that the bill is a chance “to stop the drift of arrogant big government policies in our lives and to begin a new era of reform based on liberty and self-determination.”
As it stands now, the American Health Care Act allows insurers to charge older clients five times more than younger ones, causing many older Americans to forgo insurance.
“The bill will put an ‘age tax’ on us as we age, harming millions of American families with health insurance, forcing many to lose coverage or pay thousands of dollars more for health care,” said the AARP. “In addition, the bill now puts at risk the 25 million older adults with pre-existing conditions, such as cancer and diabetes, who would likely find health care unaffordable or unavailable to them.”
This means that Americans will have to save more for retirement to cover their health care costs, which won’t be easy as defined-benefit pension plans disappear. A recent survey from the Employee Benefit Research Institute shows that two in five U.S. workers don’t feel confident that they will be able to afford to retire comfortably.
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