Thursday, January 20, 2011

Local Effects of Repealing the Affordable Care Act

When the effects of a bill, or the effects of a bill's repeal, are spoken about, they are often spoken in term of how it will affect us as a nation of people. Concerning the effects of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), I've posted some of the long term and short term effects of its repeal. What can be discouraging, though, is that it seems to be easy to disconnect from such a huge, national statistic. More than 30-Million people will lose their insurance. It is easy then to say that there 300-Million people in the U.S....and "I don't know of anyone who will lose their insurance", even though we are talking about 10% of the population.

It is easier to grasp when you see what will happen in the Congressional District that you live in. I live in the Springfield, MO area, which is Rep. Billy Long's (Republican) district. Here are local effects, aside from the projected $1-Trillion in national debt over 10-years from direct and ancillary costs:

  • Allowing insurance companies to deny coverage to 116,000 to 302,000 individuals, including 9,000 to 40,000 children, with pre-existing conditions.

  • Rescinding consumer protections for 394,000 individuals who have health insurance through their
    employer or the market for private insurance.

  • Eliminating health care tax credits for up to 16,500 small businesses and 200,000 families.

  • Increasing prescription drug costs for 12,500 seniors who hit the Part D drug “donut hole” and
    denying new preventive care benefits to 119,000 seniors.

  • Increasing the costs of early retiree coverage for up to 9,600 early retirees.

  • Eliminating new health care coverage options for 2,600 uninsured young adults.

  • Increasing the number of people without health insurance by 70,000 individuals.

  • Increasing the costs to hospitals of providing uncompensated care by $90 million annually.

That is a huge, bitter pill for our area to swallow. In an area with so many low-income families in this area. And the Republicans have no plans to fill in the gaps. And where they say they will, they regurgitate ideas that the ACA already does. The ACA has already helped thousands of people in my area alone, allowing them to buy their own care, and taken substantial burden off of local resources. Repeal of the ACA would only burden all the people helped, but also the local hospitals and government. Additionally, repeal would only worsen the choices people have available, and not help them as Republicans suggest.

Data from the Committee on Energy and Commerce, January 2011.

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