While official numbers are not available on the number of people who would lose coverage, "a report from Standard & Poor’s estimated that two million to four million people would drop out of the individual insurance market, largely because people in their 50s and early 60s—those too young to qualify for Medicare—would face higher costs," reports the Times. "Other analysts, including those at the left-leaning Brookings Institution, have estimated larger coverage losses." (Kaiser Family Foundation county map of tax credits under ACA vs. the American Health Care Act in 2020. Blue areas are where tax credits are smaller under House plan. For an interactive version click here)
"The proposal would also eliminate another important element of the subsidies, the financial assistance available for low-income people with their out-of-pocket costs, such as deductibles and co-payments," reports the Times. "While many of the plans now sold through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces have large deductibles, the cost-sharing reductions available protect lower-income people from medical bills that could otherwise run into the thousands of dollars. Analysts say the lack of out-of-pocket assistance is likely to make any plan much less attractive to low-income people."
"Legislation could also fundamentally weaken the insurance market by doing away with the so-called individual mandate, which requires people to have coverage or pay a tax penalty," reports the Times. "While it would be replaced by a 30 percent surcharge when someone buys a policy after dropping coverage, the surcharge could be weaker than the current mandate, and younger people might continue to gamble on not having coverage until they get sick. The result, said Donald H. Taylor Jr., a health policy professor at Duke University, is that people who buy coverage are sicker, causing the cost of premiums to soar."