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Report: Quashing ACA Undermines Progress in Iowa

A new study finds that 230,000 Iowans could lose health insurance under a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act. (Eric Lewis/Flickr)
A new study finds that 230,000 Iowans could lose health insurance under a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act. (Eric Lewis/Flickr)

December 12, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa – Congress is considering repealing parts of the Affordable Care Act, and a new report suggests that would double the number of uninsured people in Iowa and other states.

The Urban Institute research shows in Iowa, more than 230,000 children and adults would lose coverage.

Mary Nelle Trefz, health policy associate with the Children and Family Policy Center in Iowa, says over a 10-year period, Iowa would also lose $7 billion in federal funding to meet the health needs of its residents.

"Repealing the ACA without having a replacement strategy isn't a plan – it's just a risky step that threatens the health and well-being of Iowa's children and families,” she stresses. “It will create chaos in our health care system and wreak havoc on our state budget."

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

Joan Alker, executive director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University, says there's a lot of misinformation about who would be most negatively affected by repealing the ACA. She explains it isn't just people who are low-income.

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

The partial repeal would come through the budget reconciliation process and include elimination of the premium tax credits, the individual mandate and Medicaid expansion.

Trefz says it reverses course for Iowa after state leaders worked together to expand Medicaid under the ACA in 2013.

"The people of Iowa recognize the importance of providing health care coverage to our fellow Iowans,” she states. “This repeal would wipe out those 124,000 Iowans who gained coverage. "

A Kaiser Health tracking poll in November found that about one in four Americans is in favor of repealing the ACA.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IA