A Cost Too High: The Financial Harm of the Republican Plan to Eliminate Health Care
Since December, the Republicans leading Congress have proposed nothing but reckless plans when it comes to health care. We all know that there’s a lot of room for improvement in our health care system, particularly when it comes to affordability and lowering costs, but none of these proposals would address these issues.
In fact, as a new report shows, repealing the Affordable Care Act, capping or cutting Medicaid and privatizing Medicare—the three main Republican proposals—would result in costs too high for most families and definitely for our state economy.
That why the new report from Health Care for America Now is simply titled A Cost Too High.
It compiles recent data from the Urban Institute, the Commonwealth Fund, the Congressional Budget Office, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities among other sources to show that repealing the Affordable Care Act would have costly consequences for individuals, for families, and for the state budget, which would face increased strains because of caps that would cut Medicaid for seniors, people with disabilities and low-income people with no other source of health care.
Here’s what we know:
- Currently, 52,000 people in Delaware receive coverage under the ACA either through the insurance marketplace or through Medicaid. The Republican repeal plan would take coverage from these people and cost each one an average of $4,025.
- Not only will many of our neighbors, friends, and families will be without health coverage, but current projections show that the repeal proposals will de-stabilize the insurance market and may cause the cost of insurance and premiums to double between now and 2026. That means there will be no affordable options to replace the health care that repeal took away from them.
- But it won’t just be the people who get coverage through the exchange that will suffer because of repeal, seniors on Medicare will also be impacted because repeal rolls back important provisions in Medicare including free preventive care and lower prescription drug costs in Part D of Medicare. When it comes to prescriptions, the repeal will cost Medicare enrollees an average of $1,180 a month.
But that’s not all.
Health care makes up a significant portion of our state and national economy. It’s one of the fastest growing industries in the country and employs millions upon millions of people in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, in-home care, and many other medical fields.
According to a report release last December by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare jobs and industries are “expected to have the fastest employment growth and to add the most jobs between 2014 and 2024.” Due to the Affordable Care Act, employment in the healthcare industry is projected to grow at 21 percent, over 10% more than the second fastest growing industry.
- If the Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act, however, rather than see job growth, we’ll see 9,000 of jobs lost in health care and eventually in other sectors because of lost wages.
- Health care employers like the hospital and physician practices in our state will lose $148,000,000.
As bad as the consequences of repealing the Affordable Care are for people, jobs, and the state economy, it could still get worse if Republicans follow through with the radical changes they are proposing Medicaid.
- Republicans propose a total of $2 trillion in cuts to Medicaid over the next decade—$1 trillion through repeal of the ACA and another $1 trillion through block grants or new caps in Medicaid.
- 74 million Americans rely on Medicaid each year, including 33 million children. In Delaware, 52,000 depend on Medicaid, including 116,637 children on CHIP.
- Half (46%) of Medicaid spending is on long-term care for seniors and people with disabilities.
- Medicaid is particularly important for women because it finances nearly half of all births in the U.S., accounts for 75% of all publicly-funded family planning services, and accounts for half (51%) of all long-term care spending, which is critical for many frail elderly women.
- Medicaid is there for all Americans. Of people who rely on Medicaid, 41% are White, 25% are Latino, and 22% are African American.
Republican plans for Medicaid caps and block grants would permanently reduce the amount of money that states get from the federal government to provide health care, leaving states facing huge budget shortfalls and potentially forcing cuts in other important programs.
Delaware can’t afford the cost of ACA repeal or Medicaid caps and block grants. Our families can’t afford to be without health care, without jobs, and without Medicaid for our kids, our parents, and our grandparents, as well as so many others who depend on the program. Providers like nursing homes, hospitals, and doctors who depend on the ACA and on Medicaid to keep their doors open can’t afford to lose that funding. Our state budget can’t afford huge health care put at risk other vital services like education, public safety, and roads that we also desperately need.
The human, financial, and moral cost of the Republican proposals for health care is too high for our communities. We are calling on Senator Carper to reject these proposals and instead work with his colleagues in Congress and with constituents on solutions that move us forward.
Read the full report below or download here.HCAN Report Delaware A Cost Too High (Feb 2017)