Opposition Mounting Against The Proposed “Age Tax”

Aug 1, 2017 | Blog

elderly couple holding handsMillions of Americans within the 50 to 64 age bracket buy their health insurance through marketplaces supported by the Affordable Care Act. If the Republicans succeed in their plan of dismantling Obamacare (ACA), those Americans may get a big and unwelcome surprise in regard to their monthly premiums.

Because older Americans typically require more healthcare services and products than younger Americans, insuring them is more expensive. The amount of money, however, that insurers can charge older Americans relative to the younger ones is capped by the ACA at a 3:1 Ratio. On top of the cap, Obamacare provides financial support with premiums as well as out-of-pocket expenses in an effort to keep healthcare costs for older Americans down.

Repeal and Replace Version of ACA

Recently, the Senate began debating on repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Known in some quarters as Ryancare, the new version of the “Repeal and Replace” Affordable Care Act is seen by many as an attack on old people and retirees.

When you critically analyze the proposal that is being championed by the President and Republican Senator from Wisconsin, Paul Ryan, it’s clear that the goal is to strip away Medicaid Coverage along with taxes currently being levied on sections of the most affluent in America. But less affluent, older Americans will end up paying more. Besides weakening Medicare, the proposed Bill would also trigger a health care coverage loss for over 24 million Americans.

The Bill Components

One measure being considered by the lawmakers is a bill that imposes an “age tax” on Americans who are over 50 years, and raising premiums paid by older Americans by about $13,000 annually. This would leave an excess of Americans without health insurance coverage.

Another aspect virtually repeals all of the Affordable Care Act without any replacement. Estimates made by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) indicate the result would have 32 million Americans losing their health insurance coverage. A third approach seeks to just eliminate a requirement that individuals should get health insurance and that large employers should offer coverage.

AARP Opposes New Health Care Bill

According to AARP’s Executive VP, Nancy LeaMond, they oppose the proposed bill which they term as an “age tax.” AARP is opposed to the legislation being introduced as it would weaken Medicare, effectively leaving the door wide open to the introduction of a voucher program that would be shifting the risks and costs to seniors. Even before attaining retirement age, insurance companies will be allowed to charge people an age tax that every year adds up to thousands of dollars more. According to Nancy LeaMond, any senator who thinks of voting for the new bill should appreciate the consequences of 38 million AARP members being ignored.


If the new Bill passes, the ACA shifts to a flat tax credit system based on age from an income-based system. Older people need health care services as well as prescriptions that are affordable. The new plan is heading in the other direction, not taking action to lower costs of drugs and increasing older Americans insurance premiums.

Although the Republicans suffered a major setback recently when they lost narrowly (51:49) in Senate, they have not given up the hope of repealing and replacing Obamacare, a key campaign pledge of the Trump Presidency.