Governor Wolf: Pennsylvania’s Seniors Lose Under GOP Healthcare Plan

March 10, 2017

Harrisburg, PA – Today in Philadelphia, Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne discussed the negative effect the recently revealed Republican healthcare plan would have on Pennsylvania’s seniors.

“It is absolutely unacceptable to force seniors, who most need care and often live on low, fixed incomes, to pay more for their care while giving a huge tax cut to well-off Americans,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “This bill would create an age tax on seniors and cause their prescription drug costs to increase. Seniors represent one of the fastest growing populations in Pennsylvania and shifting the burden of expensive health care costs on to them to offset costs for the rest of us is unfair and disingenuous.”

Many of Pennsylvania’s seniors rely upon Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act to live healthy and age well. This GOP healthcare plan would allow insurance companies to charge these seniors five times more than others and would drastically cut subsidies for seniors, especially those with fixed or low incomes and in rural areas.

RAND Corporation estimates this could raise premiums for a 64-year-old by more than $2,000 a year.

“Pennsylvania’s seniors deserve access to affordable health care services and prescription medications, yet this replacement plan places seniors at risk and does nothing to lower drug costs,” said Secretary Osborne. “We must work together to protect Pennsylvanian seniors. This repeal proposal will mean that older Pennsylvanians will lose real-life benefits.”

Pennsylvania’s seniors demand affordable health care services and prescriptions, but the current replacement plan places seniors at risk and does nothing to lower drug costs. These are individuals who have lived and worked in our communities, sometimes for their entire lives, and they will suddenly be at the mercy of health insurance companies who will no longer be restricted from charging them higher premiums than the rest of us.

The American Health Care Act weakens Medicare and will result in seniors losing access to preventative services such as screenings for breast, and colorectal cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

It will also shift costs to seniors who, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, currently save on prescription drug prices as the ACA has helped to close the Medicare Part D donut hole coverage gap.

Without this safety net, our seniors will have to choose between buying food, paying rent, or paying for prescription medications.

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