Despite many Americans gaining health coverage and vital patient protections, Congress is considering repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replacing it with the American Health Care Act (AHCA). According to an official estimate released today by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), passing the AHCA will result in 24 million Americans losing coverage.
“Reversing our gains in healthcare would be devastating for Kentucky,” said Dustin Pugel of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy. “The CBO estimate confirms that restructuring Medicaid, eliminating expanded Medicaid and tearing up vital healthcare protections will hurt the health of Kentuckians, our budget and our economy as a whole.”
The legislation that the CBO provided estimates for, or “scored,” makes sweeping changes to the 2010 healthcare reform law by restructuring subsidies for people purchasing insurance through the marketplace, effectively eliminating expanded eligibility for Medicaid and making cuts to Medicaid through capping how much the federal government will contribute for the program. These changes will cut off healthcare for millions of Americans, shift billions of dollars of costs to the states and lower payments to healthcare providers, ultimately costing Kentucky jobs.
Since the ACA was passed and Kentucky decided to expand Medicaid, Kentucky’s healthcare landscape has been transformed. The rate of uninsured has been cut by more than half, uncompensated care has plummeted nearly 80 percent and a Harvard study showed low-income Kentuckians are already reporting better health. With the results of today’s CBO score, it is more evident now than ever that the proposed changes would roll back this historic progress.