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Thousands to Lose Health Coverage if Affordable Care Act is Repealed

A new report says families' health needs are threatened by promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act. (cdc.gov)
A new report says families' health needs are threatened by promises to repeal the Affordable Care Act. (cdc.gov)
December 13, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A new report shows that a plan to partially repeal the Affordable Care Act could reverse progress made in improving access to health insurance. According to the Urban Institute findings, more than 220,000 Missourians would lose insurance coverage, and the majority of them are in working families. Comments from Joan Alker, executive director, Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University.

Congress is considering repealing parts of the Affordable Care Act, a plan that a new report suggests would double the number of uninsured people in Missouri and other states. The Urban Institute research shows that in Missouri, more than 220,000 children and adults would lose coverage.

Joan Alker with the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University said because of the ACA, 95 percent of children in the U.S. now have health insurance.

"But now, Congress is poised to take a U-turn and taking away affordable coverage options, which would actually double the number of uninsured kids," she said.

Senate Republicans have said rolling back the law would have few impacts on the number of people without health insurance. But the report shows that nearly 30 million Americans would lose coverage.

Alker said there is a lot of misinformation about who would be most impacted. She explained it's not just those who are low-income.

"Eighty-two percent of those losing coverage would be in working families," she added. "The majority of those are non-Hispanic whites and 80 percent of the adults becoming uninsured would not have college degrees."

Alker also added that repeal would cause chaos in state budgets as well.

"Families' health-care needs won't disappear if their coverage goes away," she warned. "And the responsibility for responding to that will fall squarely into the states' lap and we'll have huge gaps in our health-care safety net."

The report also found that the individual insurance market would be severely disrupted and the share of people under age 65 without insurance would increase from 11 percent to 21 percent. That's higher than it was before the ACA.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - MO