Early Retirement Impossible with New GOP Health Care Bill

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House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas listens at left as House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 7, 2017, as House Republicans introduce their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
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Workers dreaming of early retirement are getting the jitters as Washington debates replacing the Obama-era health care law with a system that could be a lot more expensive for many older Americans.

The uncertainty over the cost of coverage in the individual market has caused some in their 50s and early 60s to put plans on hold. Others who already left jobs with health benefits before reaching Medicare age are second-guessing their move to self-employment.

The Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act was still being tweaked Wednesday and may provide more help to older people than the version scored by the Congressional Budget Office last week. That analysis found a 64-year-old earning $26,500 would pay $14,600 out of pocket for insurance under the GOP plan, compared with just $1,700 under “Obamacare.” The Republican proposal would allow insurers to charge older customers five times as much as younger ones, while cutting the size of tax credits for many. A last-minute revision by House GOP leaders may allow the Senate to provide additional tax credits for baby boomers but there are no guarantees.

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