Rural Georgia may suffer, but Trumpcare subsidies would be higher in Atlanta, report says

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Rural Georgia may suffer, but Trumpcare subsidies would be higher in Atlanta, report says

Subsidies from “Trumpcare” will be higher for households in Atlanta and most Georgia cities than the subsidies under Obamacare, according to an analysis by WalletHub.

The calculation does not in any way reckon with the number of people who will not have insurance, but it shows how relatively affluent cities may -- on average -- do better than less affluent, less citified areas.

Joel and Katie Blevins are currently insured under the Affordable Care Act, which is under fire by the current administration. The Blevins talk about how the potential repeal could impact them and others in their community. (David Barnes/AJC)

One thing that made the Affordable Care Act – known, of course, as Obamacare – harder to defend politically was that it clearly created winners and losers. 

 For millions, it provided healthcare insurance they that could not otherwise afford. But for many taxpayers and businesses, it added cost or inconvenience. 

And now comes the American Health Care Act — inevitably called either “Trumpcare” or “Ryancare” — the current alternative proposed by the president and the Republican congressional leadership. The proposal provides some relief here and some added burdens there.

Some analysis shows a disproportionate share of those who will lose their insurance are in rural areas, regions that voted overwhelmingly Republican.

 But what about cities and metro areas, which, as it happens, were the core of Democratic votes? 

 The list-centric, data-happy folks at WalletHub did a quick back of the computer calculation and ranked cities – large and otherwise – to see, in a rough way, which will benefit, which will not. 

 Despite the Blue State politics of cities, many would come out better financially under the Republican proposal, WalletHub contends.

On average.

Channel 2's Richard Elliot reports. www.accessatlanta.com

 Trumpcare is still a work in progress and the final version could look very different. But the initial plan calls for raising the average health-insurance premium for an individual policyholder by 15 to 20 percent just one or two years from now and lower federal subsidies. But it would remove the mandate that everyone have insurance.

 WalletHub analyzed the differences in premium subsidies that the average households in 457 cities would receive under Obamacare and Trumpcare.

 On average, areas that are more affluent – and whose residents are mainly insured through their workplace – will do better under the first version of the plan.

 According to the WalletHub calculation, the city that comes out worst is Yuma, Arizona. The average subsidy there now is $12,815. The average subsidy under Trumpcare will be $5,000. 

 That puts the average household in the hole by $7,815, WalletHub says.

 In Georgia, the only city in the hole according to this calculus is Macon where the current subsidy averages $5,854 per household. The average under Trumpcare, as with many cities, would be $5,000. 

 Among the nearly 500 cities ranked by WalletHub, Macon has the 69th worst outcome. 

Donald J. Trump has offered conflicting positions on universal health care coverage, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.

 Next worst in Georgia is Augusta at 104th. Augusta is just barely positive, averaging $4,955 under the current plan so under Trumpcare, families would get a subsidy averaging $45 more. 

 Athens comes in at 128th, with an average subsidy of $4,000 compared to the current average of $886. 

 Then comes Albany, at 159th, which would have a higher subsidy averaging $1,423 per family. And Columbus, at 202nd, which would get a higher subsidy averaging $2,209 per household.

 Atlanta ranks 264th worst, which means it has a fairly positive balance. The city averages would get an average subsidy of $5,000 per household, compared to $1,622 now, an improvement of $3,378, according to WalletHub.

 Among major cities, 46 of them would have a smaller average subsidy than Atlanta, according to WalletHub.

 Critics argue that the amount of the subsidy – generally a tax credit – will often not be enough to cover insurance for those buying it themselves.

Currently, firefighters who get sick may lose their jobs and health insurance.
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