Report: Older Oregonians would experience up to 600% increase in health care premiums

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley on Wednesday released a report showing the devastating impact the Senate Republicans’ health care bill would have on older Oregonians.

“In addition to the 22 million Americans who stand to lose care — 15 million within the next year alone — older Oregonians would see an impossible increase in their premiums,” Merkley said. “The cruelty of this plan is breathtaking. Senators are supposed to come here to make our constituents’ lives better, not to destroy them. Making health coverage over 600 percent more expensive than it currently is would destroy lives.”

After facing an enormous outcry from constituents across the country, the Senate Republican leadership on Tuesday announced that they would postpone a vote on the health care bill until after the July 4th recess. However, they are putting intense pressure on Republican Senators to move the bill forward, and are planning for a vote after the Senate returns to Washington for its July session.

Using the Congressional Budget Office projections on the Senate leadership’s amendment to the House’s proposed health care bill, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimated how much people buying their own insurance would have to pay in 2020 under both current law and the Republicans’ replacement bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). Merkley’s report highlights the results for a 60-year-old Oregonian who earns $20,000 per year and purchases a silver plan. 

The analysis found that Oregonians who are older, lower-income, or live in rural areas would receive less financial assistance under the BCRA, in addition to suffering from the bill’s “age tax,” and thus would pay premiums between 200 and 614 percent greater than what they would pay under current law. That amounts to thousands of dollars more for health coverage every year. 

Click here for the full report.