States also could get waivers that would allow insurers to charge people with pre-existing or chronic conditions more. The group said this would effectively eliminate one of the “most important consumer provisions enacted under the ACA.”
AARP estimates that about 40 percent of those who are 50 to 64 years old have some type of pre-existing condition.
AARP also emphasized the effect on state budgets from BCRA cutting about $772 billion from the federal Medicaid program. A 26 percent decrease compared to the current law, AARP said “dramatic budget shortfalls” will occur if BCRA goes into law.
“Most states are not in a position to adequately respond to this shortfall of funds, so these changes would result in cuts to program eligibility, services, or both,” LeaMond said.
The proposed fixed federal funding structure would shift health care costs to states, whose taxpayers would “be unable to shoulder the costs of care,” LeaMond added.
Further, the cuts in Medicare funding could weaken the system for future generations, she said.
LeaMond also said that the bill failed to address the problem of high prescription drug costs.
“Rather than address costs, BCRA simply repeals the fee on manufacturers and importers of branded prescription drugs. This repeal removes $25.7 billion from the Medicare Part B trust fund between 2017 and 2026, and leads directly to higher Medicare Part B premiums,” LeaMond said.