Newscasts

PNS Daily News - June 28, 2017 


Here’s a look at what’s making headlines: Republicans scramble after a vote on health care delayed; a Clean Water Rule repeal comes under scrutiny; and a chemical in a common weed killer declared a carcinogen by California.

Daily Newscasts

AARP ND President: AHCA a "Target" on Backs of Older Americans

A Congressional Budget Office report found 23 million fewer Americans could have health care by 2026 if the American Health Care Act is passed. (skeeze/Pixabay)
A Congressional Budget Office report found 23 million fewer Americans could have health care by 2026 if the American Health Care Act is passed. (skeeze/Pixabay)
June 7, 2017

BISMARCK, N.D. - AARP representatives from North Dakota and across the country are in the nation's capital today to ask members of Congress to consider older Americans during their health-care deliberations.

AARP North Dakota President Kathi Schwan is meeting with Sens. John Hoeven, R-N.D., and Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., to warn them of the harms of a so-called "age tax" in the GOP's bill, which would allow insurers to charge older Americans five times what they charge younger Americans. Currently, insurers are capped at charging three times as much.

Schwan said a proposal to cut Medicaid by more than $800 billion over the next decade would be devastating too, especially for nursing homes in rural parts of the state.

"Will it allow these smaller nursing homes in smaller communities to remain viable," she asked, "when you have such a potentially drastic change to their revenue stream through Medicaid?"

A report from the Congressional Budget Office found the House version of the American Health Care Act would reduce the budget deficit by $119 billion by 2026. The report also found 23 million fewer Americans would be insured.

Under the Republicans' plan, states could apply for waivers allowing insurers to charge more for pre-existing conditions. Schwan said 35 percent, or about 50,000 North Dakotans between ages 50 and 64, have pre-existing conditions, which means they could end up paying $25,000 a year in health-insurance premiums under this bill. She said the AHCA disproportionately tips the scales against older and poorer Americans.

"I think those that are low-income and over 50 absolutely have a target on their back with this current bill as it was passed in the House," she said.

Senators have indicated that parts of the bill are likely to change.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ND