If the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed with no viable replacement, and Congress moves forward with its plans to strip healthcare away from tens of millions of Americans, Alaskans of all stripes will bear the consequences. From seniors to veterans, our millennials and small business owners - repealing without a clear plan to replace the ACA will wreak havoc on folks all over this state, and in many different ways. Here are the facts.
Spotlight on Alaska:
- If the ACA is repealed 62,000 Alaskans would lose health coverage. This would be a 53% increase in the number of uninsured.
- 107,000 Alaskans under the age of 65 living with pre-existing conditions could be denied health insurance if provisions of the Affordable Care Act are repealed. That’s 23 percent of Alaska’s non-elderly population.
- Alaska stands to lose $3 billion in federal funding for Medicaid, CHIP, and financial assistance for marketplace coverage. These programs are lifelines for 162,366 Alaskans statewide.
- Since 2013, an additional 44,291 people have received Medicaid coverage in Alaska, thanks to the ACA and Medicaid expansion programs in the state. (Source: The Commonwealth Fund, 2017).
- Alaskans would lose $1.9 billion in federal financial assistance through the insurance marketplaces from 2019-2028, leading to a dramatic spike in the number of uninsured.
- 16,205 Alaskans would lose an average monthly advanced premium tax credit of $750, which currently helps them pay for insurance.
- Approximately 317,000 Alaskans with private health coverage (including 66,000 children) and 84,000 Alaska seniors on Medicare will lose guaranteed access to free preventive care, like blood pressure screenings, immunizations, and cancer screenings.
*Graphics courtesy of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities Graphic courtesy of Families USA
Across the United states, Repealing the ACA Would:
- Take insurance away from 30 million Americans, 82% of whom are in working families.
- Increase health care costs for millions more Americans, including higher deductibles, higher-copays, and higher prescription drug prices.
- Cause significant economic disruption and job losses in every state - costing an estimated 3 million positions in health care and other sectors by 2021.
- Increase taxes on millions of people who purchase their own insurance by more than $3,000 by abolishing health care tax credits.
- Give hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks to the wealthy, insurance companies, and drug manufacturers, while eliminating tax credits for millions of working families.
- Let the largest corporations off the hook for providing healthcare for their employees by eliminating the requirement that companies with more than 50 employees provide insurance benefits.
- Take health coverage away from millions of low and moderate income Americans by cutting funding for Medicaid expansion.
- Double the number of uninsured children in the country, leaving an additional 4 million American children uninsured.
What it would mean for Alaska's
The Affordable Care Act has worked to close the prescription drug “donut hole.” As a result, America’s seniors have saved $26.8 billion on drugs to date since the law’s inception. In Alaska, seniors have saved $16.9 million on prescription drugs since the ACA closed the “donut hole.” In 2016, the average savings were $1,120 per Alaskan beneficiary.
The ACA allows 2.3 million young Americans to stay on their parent’s plan until they turn 26. Repealing the Affordable Care Act will get rid of this provision, and take away insurance from millions of young adult, including the 3.8 million who have gained coverage through Medicaid expansion, and millions more who have purchased health coverage through HealthCare.gov and the state health insurance marketplaces.
Repealing the Affordable Care Act will strip health insurance from Veterans and their families. Veterans who leave the military - and who are not eligible for VA care - have turned to the health insurance marketplace to find coverage for themselves and their families. The share of non-elderly veterans who were uninsured dropped 42% between 2013 and 2015, as a result of the ACA’s provisions. This will be in jeopardy if the ACA is taken away.
Small Business Owners
Alaska has 72,042 Small Businesses with 142,761 employees. This represents 99.2% of total Alaska Businesses and 53.5% of Alaska Employees [US Small Business Administration, 2017]. Repealing the Affordable Care Act will hurt Alaska’s small business owners, their employees and self-employed entrepreneurs who have gained access to coverage under the healthcare law. A recent analysis found that one in five people who purchased coverage through HealthCare.gov or state health insurance marketplaces was either a small business owner, self employed, or both. Since 2010, the increase in small business health care costs has been at the lowest level in years.
Alaska has been at the forefront of Medicaid expansion. This has provided healthcare coverage to Alaskans who hold jobs that are the backbone of the state’s economy—from fast food workers to home care attendants to construction workers to cashiers. Repealing the Affordable Care Act will leave these hard working Alaskans without access to the care they rely on. Alaska will lose millions of dollars in federal Medicaid funding. Over the course of a year and a half alone, Medicaid expansion brought 260 million in federal dollars into the state economy [Alaska Department of Health and Human Services]. This would all go away if the ACA is repealed.
opioid care efforts
Repealing the Affordable Care Act would have a devastating impact on Americans suffering from opioid addiction. A recent study by researchers at Harvard and New York University found that repealing the Affordable Care Act would take health insurance coverage away from 4 million people battling addiction or serious mental disorders and increase the opioid treatment gap by more than 50 percent. Here in Alaska, repeal without a plan threatens nearly 35% of the state’s funding for evidence-based Medication Assisted Treatment using buprenorphine. These treatments have been a lifeline for Alaskans battling opioid addiction.
employment and jobs in our state
Repealing the ACA would result in the loss of 5,000 Alaskan jobs, including 2,100 jobs in the healthcare sector. Especially in these times of fiscal challenge, every job counts, and Alaskans can’t afford to see these jobs leave the state. Repealing the Affordable Care Act with no replacement would trigger massive job losses in every state: Nationally, estimates show that repeal would cause a $140 billion loss in federal funding for health care in 2019, leading to the loss of 2.6 million jobs across the United States. This number could rise to nearly 3 million positions lost in healthcare and other sectors by 2021.