ibusinesslines.com March 24, 2017

Ryan: Health Bill Owes More to Older Americans

20 March 2017, 11:39 | Melissa Porter

J. Denny Weaver: Ryan's health care bill reveals his values

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan speaks to the media about the American Health Care Act at the Capitol in Washington D.C

"We think we should be offering even more assistance than the bill now does" for lower-income people age 50 to 64, Ryan, the top Republican in Congress, said of the tax credits for health insurance that are proposed in the legislation. That age group tends to have more medical issues than younger adults and, thus, higher insurance costs, and the ACA forbids insurers to charge their oldest customers more than three times their rates for young adults - essentially having young adults cross-subsidize the cost of coverage for older ones.

Among the other changes Ryan says are under consideration are allowing states to impose a work requirement for Medicaid recipients and allowing states to accept a block grant for Medicaid.

Dear Editor: Since resistance has grown and it will certainly be amended, it is not necessary to debate too many details of the Trump-Ryan health care plan that Paul Ryan presented recently.

"It's a fine needle that needs to be threaded, no doubt about it", said Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, speaking about the negotiations Sunday on ABC's "This Week".

The new House health insurance bill is a loser.

"Obamacare must be repealed, but I have concerns with any proposal that would increase costs for older Americans", he said.

Moderate Republicans have also expressed concerns about the bill, and their worries are often not the same as that of conservatives. That's because the GOP plan would offer only $4,900 in tax credits, compared to $13,600 under Obamacare subsides. Ted Cruz of Texas said Sunday he wouldn't vote for it as is.

"I can not vote for any bill that keeps premiums rising", Cruz said. It wasn't really the Affordable Care Act.

"He's helping us make sure that we bridge differences with members who are bringing constructive ideas and solutions for how to make this bill better", Ryan said. Trump's plan, for instance, would cut $5.8 billion from the National Institutes of Health, an 18 percent drop for the $32 billion agency that funds much of the nation's research into what causes different diseases and what it will take to treat them. "I believe that the real negotiation begins when we stop them". But I will say that NIH is something that's particularly popular in Congress.

"So, you're going to change the plan?"

Later on Sunday, Ryan told Fox News that he was optimistic about the chances of passing the plan.

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