Ryan: AHCA needs to include 'even more assistance' for older Americans

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Sunday the proposed American Health Care Act will likely undergo changes to include more financial assistance for older Americans purchasing health coverage, The Washington Post reports.

"We believe we should have even more assistance … for that person in their 50s and 60s because they experience higher healthcare costs," House Speaker Ryan told Chris Wallace in a "Fox News Sunday" interview.

His remarks came about a week after the Congressional Budget Office revealed its score for the AHCA. The CBO projects average premiums would increase in the short term but eventually decrease to 10 percent below current levels. Still, some older and low-income people would see their premiums rise substantially, according to the report.

During Sunday's interview, House Speaker Ryan was asked about the specific CBO estimate that projects in 10 years a 64-year-old with $26,500 in annual income, paying $1,700 in yearly premiums under the ACA, would eventually pay $14,600 under the AHCA.

House Speaker Ryan disputed the comparison, saying it suggests the same plans the ACA established will be available in a decade. But "we believe we do need to add some additional assistance for people in those older cohorts," he said.

In the meantime, House Speaker Ryan said he still expects the full House to take up the AHCA Thursday after the bill is taken up by the House Rules committee.

"We feel very good where we are. We're still having conversations with our members. We're making fine tuning improvements to the bill to reflect people's concerns, to reflect people's improvements," he told Mr. Wallace, adding he is impressed at how President Donald Trump is "helping us close this bill."

 

 

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