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GOP Health Plan Would Hit Seniors Hard, says AARP

Under the American Health Care Act, health-insurance premiums for older Americans would increase sharply. (Rhoda Baer/Wikimedia Commons)
Under the American Health Care Act, health-insurance premiums for older Americans would increase sharply. (Rhoda Baer/Wikimedia Commons)
March 15, 2017

HARTFORD, Conn. – Advocates for seniors in Connecticut say older Americans would end up paying much more for insurance under the Republicans' proposed health-care law. The Congressional Budget Office analysis of the plan, released Monday, says there would be winners and losers.

A single, 21-year-old earning just over $26,000 a year would save about $250 under the Republican plan. But a 64-year-old with the same income would see premium costs skyrocket from $1,700 a year to more than $14,000.

Nora Duncan, state director of AARP Connecticut, says that simply isn't fair.

"The older you are, but yet not Medicare-eligible, and the less income you have, the worse it is," she explained. "It is impossible for anyone to pay more than half of their income into healthcare."

The Trump administration says the CBO analysis is wrong because it doesn't include further regulatory reforms or other legislation yet to be introduced.

While the CBO analysis projects more than $300 billion in savings to the federal government over ten years, mostly by lowering Medicaid spending, Duncan points out that will potentially shift billions in expenses to the states.

"We have to change the way we are handling Medicaid expansion and programs that help keep people at home instead of putting them in more costly nursing homes, which wouldn't be guaranteed under this new plan anyway," she said.

And she says the Republican health-care proposal would jeopardize Medicare as well, depleting the fund up to four years earlier than projected under the current law.

Duncan emphasizes that AARP is looking forward to working with members of Congress from both sides of the aisle on a responsible way to advance health-care reform.

"In Connecticut and across the country, we need a health-care system that lowers costs, protects consumers and offers everyone access to quality care," she added. "But this proposed legislation is not the answer."

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - CT