Chicago Metro Seniors warn of fallout if 'Obamacare' is ended...

Chicago-Metro Chapter met January 23,2017 to discuss Medicare, Medicaid and Obama Care as part of the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans. Here is the Speech by Jeanne Cameron, E.D. of Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans...

"Two weeks ago, Congress began unraveling the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We’ve had rallies and are doing calls.

“The next pieces of Medicare, Medicaid will be brought into the 2018 budget discussions in March. They will start rolling out Paul Ryan’s plan, A Better Way, which means raising the age for Medicare from 65 to 67. They want to give people a voucher, called Premium Support, a large block of money that you can use to buy private insurance. They say they want to delay this for ages 55 and under.

"It will unravel Medicare as a program because people are healthier at 65 and 66 so that means the people that are healthy will not go into the system while less healthy individuals who need the most care are in the system. It will be very expensive and Medicare will collapse.

“A Block Grant gives a certain amount of money to the states. The ACA, Sugar Law, states that if a state does not get 90% of funding from the Federal Government going to Medicaid, then Medicaid will be lost for the people of Illinois. The coverage by ACA will be lost. This is going to be devastating to everybody: It is going to raise the cost for everybody, employers, hospitals, individuals. ACA was a donut hole for helping to slow down the rising cost of medical care. ACA helped close that gap. Medicare covers a certain amount of money; there is a gap. Then it gets covered again. After ACA started to close that gap where people had to cover their own pharmaceutical drugs, people have been and will get subsidies for their pharmaceutical drugs. People will say the premiums are going up, but they were higher years ago. We have been having a call-in day for people to call their legislatures, attend rallies, write op eds. We have met with 7 Republican, Illinois downstate congressmen or their staff about the consequences of repealing the Affordable Care Act. They will go ahead with the repealing of ACA but we need to let them know that it is wrong.”

The second Speaker was Scott Marshall, USW Steelworkers Organization of Active Retirees (SOAR)

“If they repeal the Affordable Care Act," Marshall told the crowd, "it will affect union contracts. We deal with healthcare on contracts, caps and in the event of job loss or retirement, the subsidies are still available and help people who have been laid off for a long time. ACA removes caps, limits, no precondition, keeps children on the plan until age 26. Bargaining has been a lot more powerful on our side of the table with ACA.

"For the retirees, the stuff for wellness-tests for free- helps us even if we already have Health care. It is not well known who benefits tax wise from the repeal of the ACA. So, getting rid of ACA, based on The Center on Budget and Policies Priorities study, benefits the 400 richest Americans worth an average $300 million who will get a combined annual tax cut of $2.8 billion. Those who make less than $200,000 a year will see no tax cut or benefit, and 70 million low-income people will see their taxes go up with the ACA’s repeal, because of tax, will go up an average of $800 a year. The $800 a year would be for people to pay more for health care without a subsidy.

There are a lot of social programs that started out with not all the best parts in them, and they evolved over time and people sought to improve them. The thing that is really meaningful about your meeting here is that I believe the fight for Medicare, Medicaid, and ACA is important. “

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Leading GOP alternatives to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) rely on Health Savings Accounts (HSA) which do little or nothing to help the uninsured afford coverage but offer high-income people lucrative tax- sheltering opportunities. Under this plan the uninsured receive little benefits, and high-income people get the biggest benefit. They are less likely to need a tax break to pay for insurance or health care, yet they receive the largest tax break for each dollar put into an HAS because they are in the highest tax bracket. Someone in the 35 percent bracket, for example, saves up to 35 cents in taxes for each dollar put into HAS, can earn investment gains, and can withdraw money tax free. We found 70% of total value of HAS contributions come from households with incomes over $100,000.” If the repeal goes through, 30 million people will lose healthcare and the number of children without healthcare will double. ”


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