Congressional Budget Office releases estimate on financial implications of American Health Care Act

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BISMARCK, N.D. - In Washington, U.S. House Republicans introduced the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which could replace Obamacare.

The Congressional Budget Office has released its estimate on the financial implications.

There are two major ways the new law could impact the state: health care costs for older Americans, and the long term solvency of Medicare.

The new health care proposal from Republicans is generating a lot of buzz around the country. Some in North Dakota are afraid of what could happen if costs go up.

"If I'm just going on my social security check, I'm paying a third of it," said Quarina Schmidt, Bismarck resident.

"If their plan goes up it's going to hurt, it's going to hurt everybody," said Sally Kraft, Bismarck resident.

The law is based on tax credits to reimburse you for health care costs. But some say it will allow companies to charge 50 to 64 year olds more than others.

"Folks greatly concerned about being overcharged simply because they're older. They understand how that is inherently unfair," said Josh Askvig, AARP.

Under Obamacare that was illegal, but the new proposal could change that to allow companies the ability to charge up to three times as much for older individuals.

"Under the current bill that moves down to three again. So, I think what some of the folks in that age range maybe concerned with are well we are going to see a jump in our premiums a jump in our costs," said Jon Godfread, insurance commissioner.

One of the most important aspect of keeping insurance cost low for everyone is getting young healthy people to buy insurance.

"We don't have a good model to have the young healthy people to buy in to buying the health insurance they need," said Godfread.

And if costs go up?

"I suppose I'd have to pay it, because you really can't be without insurance," Kraft.

The congressional budget office estimates the AHCA would save nearly $337 billion over the next 10 years, and cost 24 million people their insurance.

AARP says the AHCA would also repeal an additional point 9 percent payroll tax that could cost Medicaid $117 billion and could threaten the programs solvency up to four years earlier than expected, potentially as soon as 2024.