AUGUSTA, MAINE (November 15, 2017) — The US Senate Republican tax plan will lead to 50,000 fewer Mainers having health insurance in 2027, according to new analysis released today by the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP). In addition, MECEP finds that tens of thousands more Mainers will see their health insurance premiums go up as a result of the Senate’s proposal to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) “individual mandate.” Particularly hard hit will be older and rural Mainers.
“Mainers already know the Senate tax plan is a bad deal that puts the wealthy, foreign investors, and large corporations ahead of hardworking Mainers,” said James Myall, a policy analyst for the Maine Center for Economic Policy. “The fact that these tax cuts are paid for in part by making it harder for Mainers to access affordable health coverage makes a bad tax plan even worse. It also ignores that Mainers resoundingly approved Medicaid expansion and Senator Collin’s stance helping to defeat efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.”
In MECEP’s analysis of Congressional Budget Office data, 15,000 Mainers will lose health coverage in the first year, with that number growing to 50,000 in 2027, if the Senate tax plan goes through. As a result, the number of non-elderly Mainers without health coverage will spike from 7.1 percent to 12.0 percent. Mainers will also see their health care premiums go up by as much as $3,000 per year in Maine’s most economically-depressed regions.
These outcomes are attributed to a provision in the current tax bill to eliminate the ACA’s “individual mandate” – the requirement that every American who can afford it have health insurance, or pay a penalty relative to their income level. This mandate is vital to protecting the health and stability of private insurance markets and reducing health care costs for everyone.
“The choice in this debate is clear. Protect the interests of hardworking Mainers or rig the tax system to favor the wealthy, large corporations, and foreign investors even more,” said Myall. “We call on Senator Collins to continue to stand strong with Maine families by rejecting the Senate tax bill and prioritize tax reform that keeps intact policies that help Mainers afford health coverage, put food on the table, and get a good education for good-paying jobs.”
To view our analysis and an interactive map that depicts county-level impacts of eliminating the individual mandate, CLICK HERE.