KY Policy Blog

The Many Harms of the American Health Care Act for Kentucky

By Jason Bailey
April 27, 2017

The House of Representatives is moving toward a possible vote Friday on an amended version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The bill contains the same harmful changes as before: it would dramatically reduce the number of Kentuckians with health coverage, make plans more expensive for those buying insurance through the marketplace and shift billions of dollars to the Kentucky state budget — all while providing large tax cuts to millionaires. And the amendments make the bill even worse, allowing states to remove protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

Here are some of KCEP’s resources on the impacts in Kentucky:

Kentucky is Making Major Progress Because of the Affordable Care Act

New Reports Highlight Kentucky’s Gains in Care and Health
Despite claims from some political leaders that Kentucky’s coverage gains were not met with access to care and better health, new reports and recent data show Kentuckians are getting needed preventive care and health indicators are already improving.

Kentucky’s ACA Health Insurance Marketplace Is Not Falling Apart
Far from collapsing, the health insurance exchanges set up by the ACA are a way many Kentuckians are now able to buy health insurance. It will be important for the 81,155 Kentuckians who depend on that coverage that those in Washington keep it stable rather than undermine it with administrative changes, repeal of the ACA or even reckless public statements that cause insurance companies to question their participation.

The AHCA Would Be a Disaster for Kentucky

Eastern Kentucky Would Be Hardest Hit Place in Country by Job Loss from ACA Repeal
Passing the American Health Care Act would eliminate jobs in Kentucky by taking billions of dollars out of doctors’ offices, hospitals and local economies. According to one report, Kentucky’s 5th district — represented in Congress by Hal Rogers — would lose more jobs than any congressional district in the country, at over 20,000 jobs by 2022.

Kentuckians’ Marketplace Health Care Costs Would Rise $1,804 Under AHCA
The plan would drive up the cost for people buying insurance through the marketplace by reducing tax credits for many people and raising out of pocket expenses — an average cost increase of $1,804 for Kentuckians and much more for older people.

House Health Repeal Would Shift $16 Billion to the Kentucky State Budget
By ending enhanced funding for the Medicaid expansion and placing a cap on traditional Medicaid funding that will squeeze the program in the future, the plan would shift $16 billion in costs to Kentucky’s state budget over a ten year period — inevitably leading to big cuts in enrollment and benefits.

Tiny Fraction of Wealthiest Kentuckians Gain from Tax Cuts in Health Repeal
The AHCA provides big tax cuts to millionaires, and Kentucky has less than half the US average of wealthy people who would even receive a tax cut — even while the state has among the most to lose from people becoming uninsured.

What’s at Stake in ACA Repeal by Congressional District
Kentucky has 3 of the 25 congressional districts with the most to lose in health coverage gains from repeal of the Affordable Care Act, with Representative Hal Rogers’ district ranked 3rd of all 435 districts. As detailed in these fact sheets, every district in the state would be hit hard by the AHCA.

House Health Repeal Plan Would Worsen Kentucky’s Drug Problems
The ACA is playing a key role in helping combat Kentucky’s raging opioid epidemic, but the AHCA would roll back opportunities for treatment by reducing the number of people covered and allowing states to drop coverage of substance abuse treatment in Medicaid and no longer allow it in private plans.

Coverage for Kentucky Seniors Threatened by House Plan
The House plan would especially reduce coverage and affordability for older adults in Kentucky, including those seeking to buy coverage in the marketplace and those covered by Medicaid.

House Plan Unwinds Coverage Gains and Makes Harmful Changes to Medicaid Program
Our summary of the bill: it would unravel Kentucky’s highly successful Medicaid expansion, end Medicaid as we know it and raise costs for people buying insurance.

A County-by-County Look at Kentuckians at Risk if Congress Rolls Back Health Coverage
Nearly one in three Kentuckians has health insurance either through Medicaid or the marketplace, and the share reaches as high as 68 percent in 1 rural Kentucky county. Medicaid especially provides access to coverage and boosts local economies, and cutting and capping the program would be devastating to Kentucky’s health and economic well-being.

The Amended Bill Makes the AHCA Even Worse

New Amendment to Heathcare Repeal Bill Threatens Kentuckians with Pre-existing Conditions
The amendment makes the AHCA worse by jeopardizing coverage for the 1.8 million Kentuckians under 65 who have some kind of pre-existing condition, which is 50 percent of the non-elderly population.

Getting Rid of Essential Health Benefits Means Less Coverage, More Cost for Kentuckians
The amended version of the AHCA gives states the option of no longer requiring insurers to cover ten essential health benefits, including maternity care, pediatric dental services and mental health and substance abuse treatment.

Kentucky’s Experience with High Risk Pool Shows Danger of ACA Repeal
The amended bill means people with pre-existing conditions could no longer access affordable coverage, and relies on possible state “high risk pools” to cover people with expensive conditions. But evidence from Kentucky’s high risk pool shows why they don’t work.



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