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Report Highlights What Illinois Loses with ACA Repeal

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Thursday, February 9, 2017   

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A new report by Health Care for America Now shows the impact that repealing the Affordable Care Act would have on Illinois. It says more than a million people in the state would lose health coverage.

The fallout also includes $1.2 billion in new uncompensated care, 114,000 lost jobs, and $2.7 billion in lost income for hospitals and physicians. In Illinois, 260,000 people receive subsidies to help pay for their coverage, and the report says repeal would cost each of them over $4,300 in 2019.

Lynda DeLaforgue, the co-director of Citizen Action Illinois thinks without a good replacement plan, a repeal is irresponsible and dangerous.

"When people can get medical care at the front end, then we prevent a lot of catastrophic illness at the back end," she said. "And so, the whole system is benefited through this, not to mention all of the lives that are saved when people have access to health care at the front end."

The report says Illinois' Medicare enrollees have lower prescription drug costs thanks to the ACA, and eliminating those could cost each around $1,000. Both the House and Senate have voted to move forward on ACA repeal through the budget process. President Trump called it a disaster and vowed to immediately repeal it during his campaign.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the uninsured rate in America before the ACA was 15.7 percent, and last year it was 8.6 percent. DeLaforgue says Illinois lawmakers need to take what their constituents are saying seriously - they need affordable health insurance.

"Folks are going to have to take a step back and really look at what this means for their own districts, and break from a party line," she added.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, nationally almost 30 million people will lose their health insurance if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, more than doubling the number of people who would be uninsured.


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