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Report: 73,000 Utah Kids to Lose Coverage if ACA Repealed, Not Replaced

A new report shows the number of uninsured Utah children would more than double if Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a comprehensive replacement plan. (iStockphoto/monkeybusinessimages)
A new report shows the number of uninsured Utah children would more than double if Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a comprehensive replacement plan. (iStockphoto/monkeybusinessimages)
January 24, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY – President Trump wasted no time making good on his promise to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, signing an executive order just hours after taking the oath of office. The order allows federal agencies to unravel parts of the act before Congress presents a replacement plan.

April Bennett, the communications director for Voices for Utah Children, says new data from the Urban Institute shows more than 270,000 Utah residents could lose coverage, including 73,000 children.

"If the Affordable Care Act is repealed without a replacement plan, we will actually have a worse uninsured rate than we did before the Affordable Care Act came into place," she said. "There will be even more children and parents uninsured than there were before."

The Institute's projections are based on legislation to repeal the ACA passed by Congress a year ago, but vetoed by President Obama, and show Utah's total uninsured rate would nearly double, rising from 12 to 21 percent. Trump's executive order enables agencies to not enforce parts of Obamacare that impose financial burdens, such as the mandate for individuals to buy coverage, and also allows Insurers to sell policies across state lines.

Bennett says some 89,000 Utah parents would lose coverage if Obamacare is dismantled, putting additional economic stress on families. The report found the total number of kids without insurance in the state would increase to 140,000.

"And these aren't kids from lazy families," she added. "Eighty-eight percent of these kids are living in a home with a full-time working parent. And in spite of the fact that they're working, they will lose health insurance if the Affordable Care Act is repealed without a replacement plan."

Earlier this month, the Senate passed a budget resolution that could strip funding for the Affordable Care Act under a process known as "reconciliation." The measure has not yet been approved by the House of Representatives.

Eric Galatas, Public News Service - UT