3 ways ACA repeal could affect the elderly

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., estimated an ACA replacement will be done this spring. In the meantime, Congressional Republicans have already circulated proposals that could reduce or eliminate features of the federal health law affecting the elderly, according to an NPR report.

Here are three ways an ACA repeal could affect the elderly, as stated in the report.

1. Medicare's prescription drug benefit was expanded under the health law. This program helps Medicare beneficiaries pay for prescription drugs and prescription drug insurance premiums. According to Medicare, prescription drug plans have a coverage gap (also called the "doughnut hole"), where there is a temporary limit on what the drug plan will cover for drugs. However, the ACA has been closing this coverage gap, reports NPR.

2. As part of an ACA replacement plan, President Donald Trump proposed giving states more control over Medicaid by converting the program to block grants. The report notes Medicaid, in addition to the poor, pays for long-term care for a lot of older Americans, including the majority of nursing home residents.

3. Under the ACA, insurance companies can only charge the elderly three times as much as they charge people a few decades younger, according to NPR. However, the report notes, some Republican replacement proposals either set higher limits — five or six times higher — or they do not have any limits.

For more on this story, read Ina Jaffe's full report here.


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