Who benefits from the tax credits in the proposed Republican health care bill?
That depends on how old you are and how much income you make, but where you live would matter a lot, too.
Using Kaiser Family Foundation projections of the 2020 health care markets, NBC News mapped the winners and losers of the American Health Care Act relative to the Affordable Care Act.
In short, higher-income earners and the young would see a benefit from the Republican bill. Lower-income earners and the old would tend not to.
The reason for the change is all in how the bills provide tax relief for buying health care. Under Obamacare, tax subsidies are partly determined by the cost of local health care and are not given to higher earners. In the House bill, tax credits are pegged to income and age, and are available to higher earners.
Should the House bill pass, Kaiser estimates that single filers making as much as $115,000 will benefit from a tax credit in 2020. Under Obamacare, the maximum amount someone can earn and still receive a subsidy in 2020 is approximately $50,000, 400 percent of the federal poverty level.
For lower earners in general, the subsidies for Obamacare tend to be more generous than those provided in the Republican tax credit. According to Cynthia Cox, associate director of health reform and private insurance at Kaiser, there are some states where tax credits for very low earners may be higher with the House plan, such as those that did not expand Medicaid under the ACA. Still, these credits may not be enough to make insurance actually affordable.
Middle and lower-income older adults will generally pay more in Kaiser's 2020 projections, even though the GOP bill offers this group bigger tax credits. Obamacare set a rule that older adults would not be charged more than three times that of someone younger. The House bill ups that ceiling from three times as much to five times, negating the direct tax benefits in the Republican bill relative to the Obamacare baseline.