FHPC sent this press release to its BOD & the Press

13 March 2017

Repeal and Replace Bill Will Result in 24 Million Losing Their Insurance

McHenry County: The Congressional Budget Office just released its analysis of the American Health Care Act, which is the Republican plan that would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.  The report estimates that 14 million would become uninsured by 2018, and that would rise to 21 million by 2020 and 24 million by 2026.

The bill – which eliminates the mandate to purchase insurance – would have the effect of 14 million losing their insurance in the first year . Some people would drop their insurance because the penalty would no longer apply, and others would simply forego insurance completely because of the cost.  More people will lose coverage in the years after that due to loss of subsidies for the premiums, as well as changes in Medicaid which would dramatically reduce the number of people who would qualify for Medicaid.

“This bill concerns me,” said Suzanne Hoban, Executive Director of the Family Health Partnership Clinic. “The dismantling of the Affordable Care Act has implications not only for our community members, but our healthcare system as a whole.”

The Family Health Partnership Clinic, which receives no state or federal funds for its operations, provides healthcare for those who have remained uninsured. Prior to the implementation of the ACA, Hoban estimates that the number of uninsured in the county was roughly 40,000.  After implementation, that number dropped to 20,000.

The drop in the uninsured rate has helped hospitals remain financially stable. The Illinois Hospital Association released a report in December 2016 that gave the estimates for the economic loss for congressional districts if the ACA were repealed.  The potential job loss for District 6 – Senator Peter Roskam’s district, would total 3400, and for District 14 – Senator Randy Hultgren – the job loss would total 3,700.  The Illinois Hospital Association estimates that the combined  economic impact would be a loss of almost $970,000,000 in these two districts alone.

The Congressional Budget Office also predicts that premiums in the non group market (those purchasing insurance on their own) would rise 15-20% because of the elimination of the individual mandate. With less healthy people purchasing insurance, the pool of people in those markets will be sicker and will cause premiums to rise.

“The ACA was not a perfect bill,” said Hoban. “But perhaps more energy and thought could have been put into how to actually fix it rather than dismantling it.  Unfortunately, those who are the most vulnerable will pay the price.”

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Source: Illinois Hospital Association http://www.ihatoday.org/uploadDocs/1/acaimpactcongdistricts.pdf

Source: Congressional Budget Office