Paul Ryan’s health plan is a threat to working families


Health plan proposed by house speaker, Paul Ryan poses economical threats to America’s working families.

From Urban Milwaukee:

For low-income working families in Wisconsin, including those with parents formerly eligible for BadgerCare, there are at least three parts of the Ryan plan that would add to their costs and are likely to put quality health insurance out of reach:

  1. Eliminating Marketplace subsidies – The cost of Marketplace coverage would rise sharply for low-income families for a number of reasons. The Ryan plan would eliminate the cost-sharing subsidies that help people with incomes below 250% of FPL pay the deductibles and co-payments for their Marketplace plans. It would also reduce the current premium tax credits for low-income people participating in the Marketplace. The new tax credits proposed by the bill would not vary by income and would probably be much lower for many low-income people than what they receive now.
  2. Large cost increases for people with pre-existing conditions – The proposed changes would be especially problematic for people with pre-existing health conditions because the Ryan plan would allow insurers to charge them far higher premiums if they have not maintained continuous coverage (which is especially difficult for low-income people to do). The plan calls for the re-creation of high-risk pools, but as a Commonwealth Fund report concluded, high-risk pools “are expensive to run, often unaffordable for those who need them, and not a viable long-term solution to the problem of high rates of uninsured Americans.
  3. Charging premiums for many more children in BadgerCare – The Ryan plan would allow states to require premiums for many more people in Medicaid. In Wisconsin that would enable the Walker administration to go forward with plans to expand and increase premiums for children in BadgerCare. The current income threshold for charging premiums for children’s coverage is currently 200% of FPL, and the Governor wants to reduce that to 150% of FPL.  In fact, Wisconsin and some other states might decide to reduce the threshold even more than that because the Ryan plan would cut funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and would significantly change and reduce Medicaid funding.

Speaker Ryan’s plan would hurt low-income workers and their families across the country. However, its approval would be a particularly distressing development in Wisconsin because it would put out of reach the Marketplace coverage that was promised to about 60,000 parents when the Walker administration removed them from BadgerCare.

For full story, visit Urban Milwaukee