Last night Senator Mike Lee helped put the final nail in the coffin on the Senate health bill, which was opposed by major insurers and medical associations alike and was deeply unpopular across the nation for its inability to lower premiums (among many, many other significant issues), per the original mandate of ACA repeal.
Let’s take a moment to celebrate the end of this bad bill, which would have increased premiums for women, the sick, elderly, disabled and anyone with pre-existing conditions, raised overall costs of women’s health, reduced essential benefits, slashed Medicaid, defunded preventative care and failed to tackle the rising cost of care. The BCRA was a closed-door policy based on a partisan battle that had little to do with improving health care for Americans. Sayonara BCRA!
Done celebrating? Good. Because it’s time to get to work!
The next step for the Senate could be proposing complete repeal of the Affordable Care Act without any replacement plan at all. This is a great idea for politicians who promised to get rid of Obamacare, but a terrible idea for Americans, their families, hospitals, health care providers and insurers.
Why total ACA repeal is a bad idea
In 2015 Congress attempted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The CBO report on the 2015 repeal attempt showed that a total ACA repeal would:
- Increase the number of people who are uninsured by 18 million in the first new plan year following enactment of the bill. Later, after the elimination of the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility and of subsidies for insurance purchased through the ACA marketplaces, that number would increase to 27 million, and then to 32 million in 2026.
- Increase premiums in the non-group market (for individual policies purchased through the marketplaces or directly from insurers) by 20 percent to 25 percent—relative to projections under current law—in the first new plan year following enactment. The increase would reach about 50 percent in the year following the elimination of the Medicaid expansion and the marketplace subsidies, and premiums would about double by 2026.
CALL TO ACTION
- Call on Senator Hatch and Senator Lee to put people over politics and work together with Democrats to create transparent, bipartisan solutions to fix the ACA and provide affordable health care for all.
- Sign this petition asking our Senators to cross the aisle and find a bi-partisan solution to fix health care. (Find more great petitions like this on our Petitions, Petitions! page.)
- Attend a health care rally TODAY to stand up for a bipartisan solution to fixing the ACA and affordable healthcare for all. Bring your own sign. Meet at the Wallace F. Bennett Federal Building, Salt Lake City, 12:00p.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (202) 224-5251 (DC) // (801) 524-4380 (SLC) // (801) 375-7881 (Provo) // (435) 634-1795 (St. George) // (801) 625-5672 (Ogden) // (435) 586-8435 (Cedar City)
Sen. Mike Lee 202-224-5444 (DC) // 801-524-5933 (SLC) // 435-628-5514 (St. George) // 801-392-9633 (Ogden)
Why save and fix the Affordable Care Act?
The Affordable Care Act created protections for essential benefits for all, including covering people with pre-existing conditions without a surcharge or deniability, maternity and newborn care, hospitalization, prescription medications, preventative and wellness services, lab services, mental health and addiction services, pediatric services and so on. Despite outright attempts to sabotage the marketplace, partisan banter about ACA collapse and complete fabrications about things like death panels, the ACA has provided over 17 million more Americans with health insurance.
Of course, the ACA needs improvements. Marketplaces have been unstable, causing insurers to pull out. But data shows that these symptoms are improving, especially in Utah, and care utilization is becoming balanced as predicted.
ACA in Utah
- 25% of Utah children are covered under the ACA, the highest percentage in the nation
- Utah has the lowest uninsured rate in a decade
- 1.2 million Utahns with pre-existing conditions are now covered, and 1.2 million Utahns who previously faced lifetime caps are now guaranteed care for life
- ACA enrollments continue to grow, with a 12.3% leap in enrollments in 2017
- 95% of Utahns having access to 2 or more insurers
- The marketplace in Utah is stabilizing with at least one insurer (and most often 2-3) in every county in Utah in 2018
ACA in the US, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation:
- Early results from 2017 suggest the individual market is stabilizing and insurers in this market are regaining profitability. Insurer financial results show no sign of a market collapse.
- While the market on average is stabilizing, there remain some areas of the country that are more fragile. In addition, policy uncertainty has the potential to destabilize the individual market generally.
- Although individual market enrollees appear on average to be sicker than the market pre-ACA, data on hospitalizations in this market suggest that the risk pool is stable on average and not getting progressively sicker as of early 2017. This is important because the data shows exactly what was predicted would happen in the initial years of the roll out: newly insured people would be sicker and utilize care more frequently, but as they became well, the high utilization would become balanced.