Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has pledged to repeal ObamaCare promising to replace it with a healthcare plan of his own. But there are a few thingsthat people itching to repeal ObamaCare should pay attention to.
A recently released report from the Commonwealth Fund made a head to head comparison between President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and Romney’s proposals on everything from whether Romney’s plan will make health insurance more affordable to how many people will be left uninsured under each plan. And it found Romney’s plans lacking overall. Here are the five key points:
- The price for completely overturning Obamacare is a cool $109 billion. That’s how much it would add to the federal deficit over 2013 to 2022 if Romney won and decide to unravel the Affordable Care Act, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
- Under Romney’s plan there are far more adults and children that are uninsured – 12 million more people are projected to be uninsured compared with a baseline scenario where the ACA did not exist. The number of uninsured would balloon to 72 million in 2022.
- Under the ACA, By 2016, 20 million people are projected to be eligible to receive tax credits that can help pay for health insurance sold through state exchanges. The number of people receiving the credits is expected to be evenly split among those who already have insurance and those who had been uninsured until then. By contrast, Romney’s plan would benefit only 10 million and most people in this group are expected to be those who already have insurance. Even in dollar amounts Romney’s plan doesn’t go as far as the ACA given that the per person average tax deduction under RepealCare is only $1,900 to $2,600, compared with an average tax credit of $3,900 to $4,500 per person under ObamaCare.
- ObamaCare helps small businesses more than Romney’s proposals. When ACA is fully implemented, insurance companies would not be able to charge higher premiums from companies with a smaller employee base. In fact small, low-wage businesses are currently eligible for tax credits to pay for their premium costs and 170,000 small employers claimed credits worth $468 million for the 2010 tax year. Romney’s proposal to repeal ACA would remove these benefits. Instead, he proposes what are known as multiple employer welfare arrangements, but has not provided further detail. MEWAs allow small employers to pool their resources through trade and other groups to share administrative costs of health insurance plans. While MEWAs do allow their workers to access health care cheaply, these organizations often go bankrupt.
- Romney wants to tackle healthcare costs by providing block grants to people on Medicaid and what they call premium support and others call a voucher program for Medicare recipients. But the report found that managing costs using this approach not only shifts the cost burden on to low-income Americans and Medicare beneficiaries, but also to states. And states are the very entities that the Republican ticket has pledged to empower by wresting control from the federal government.
[Photo Credit: Tea Party Express from Big Stock Photo]