WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) today released the following statement on the Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The legislation, which is being rushed through Congress without a hearing by lawmakers or an official cost score from the Congressional Budget Office, also lacks an estimate for how many people covered by the ACA will lose insurance with its repeal.
“The Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act achieves exactly what its authors intended – it ends affordable healthcare,” Rep. Grijalva said. “Seniors will no longer be protected from price gouging the way they are under the ACA; insurers would be able to charge the oldest Americans five times as much as the youngest Americans, and estimates on premium spikes for a 64-year-old are as high as $10,600. The Medicaid expansion that has helped cover millions of low-income individuals and families will be financially capped in 2020, and left to wither on the vine as the costs of living – and the costs of life-saving medicine – continue to rise. Perhaps worst of all, this plan allows insurers to impose a 30 percent premium surcharge to anyone who does not maintain continuous coverage. Because this fee is only triggered when an individual wants to reenter the insurance market, it creates a strong disincentive for anyone in good health who does not have insurance to ever get coverage. Fewer people in the system will simply mean higher premiums for everyone.
“This isn’t a plan to improve public health; it’s a scheme to give millionaires and billionaires tax breaks at the expense of the poor and the sick. It took our nation generations to finally recognize medical health as an inalienable right, and less than two months into the Trump presidency, Republicans are already hard at work turning it back into a commodity. This bill doesn’t just fail at providing affordable coverage to the American people – it betrays the very intent to help those who need it most.”
Residents of Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District, which Rep. Grijalva serves in Congress, stand to lose significantly if the Republican repeal effort is successful:
- The district’s uninsured rate has gone from 23.5% to 14.1% since the ACA was implemented. This 9.3 percentage point drop in the uninsured rate could be reversed if the ACA is entirely or partially repealed.
- 324,700 individuals in the district with employer-sponsored health insurance are at risk of losing important consumer protections like the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits, protection against unfair policy rescissions, and coverage of preexisting health conditions, if the ACA is entirely or partially repealed.
- 62,800 individuals in the district who are covered by the ACA’s Medicaid expansion now stand to lose coverage once Medicaid is capped off and left to become obsolete.
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