For as much as the Republicans and Donald Trump talk about wanting to save taxpayers money, their actions and words on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) certainly make it seem like they want to go in another direction.
As it stands now, around 95% of Americans are insured either through traditional workplace health insurance plans, Medicare, or by marketplace plans, giving 19 out of 20 people the means to afford treatment for a disease or illness before it reaches a critical stage. This type of savings alone is difficult to quantify, but a co-pay for a doctor’s visit and a $6 bottle of antibiotics is going to be exponentially cheaper than a serious infection requiring hospitalization.
What we can quantify, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s ACA Update, is the fact that Medicare payment increases to healthcare providers have been lowered on a year to year basis as part of the ACA. Without the ACA, those increases would go back to normal, resulting in about a $340 billion savings over the next 10 years. Taxes on Cadillac health insurance plans kick in next year and extra taxes on high-income earners will result in about $240 billion being applied towards the cost of those outside of the top 1% of earners.
Removing the employer and individual mandates would result in a loss of a further $60 billion in revenue, bringing the total cost of repealing Obamacare to around $640 billion over the next 10 years.
In effect, just about everybody would lose out if the ACA were repealed. Those who stand to gain would include the lawmakers who make it happen and just about everyone else who earns more than about $400,000 a year. Even then, an individual would likely need to make about $900,000 a year before they would really start to notice much extra money (more than the price of a Subway combo meal a day) being paid in taxes because of the ACA.
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