Whats the plan?

March 22, 2017

Obamacare to Trumpcare?

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, is at grave risk. The new President and Congress want to repeal this major law that has provided health insurance coverage to over 20 million previously uninsured Americans.

In New York State, over 3.5 million people have enrolled through New York State of Health, the state’s health insurance exchange set up under the ACA. Hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers were insured for the first time. Many have had their first mammogram, countless lives have been saved, and hundreds of thousands have gained Medicaid coverage. Children can remain on their parents’ insurance until age 26, much to the relief of working parents. These are just some of the huge gains working families realized under the ACA.

Community groups, healthcare advocacy groups, and others attend the ACA summits in Brooklyn and Queens (top) and Staten Island (bottom) organized by HEP and its allies. Summits were held statewide.

Many Americans stand to lose coverage because Congress wants to repeal the ACA. But what is their plan for replacement?

The draft replacement proposal released by House Republicans is, as feared, a bad deal for New York, and for working-class and poor Americans. Here are some of its key provisions:

  • Ends Medicaid expansion and significantly reduces the money available to states forcing them to raise billions of dollars from new taxes or drop millions of people from the rolls.
  • Ends entitlement to Medicaid Therefore states would not get the money according to need but rather through a per capita cap. States will be forced to make cuts to providers, benefits, or eligibility.
  • Undermines protections for those with pre-existing conditions Individuals with a gap in coverage, even for a couple of months, will have to pay a heavy penalty for the next year.
  • Will lead to higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs for those who keep coverage on the exchanges.
  • Reduces the tax credits that make coverage more affordable Tax credits will no longer be based on income but rather on age.
  • Cuts funding to hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid – such as New York – to achieve savings.
  • Eliminates support for the Basic Health Plan that 600,000 New Yorkers depend on by ending the ACA’s cost-sharing provisions.
  • Ends the penalty for large employers who do not provide health coverage.
  • Savings used to give big tax cuts to the wealthy Medicaid cuts will be used to fund large tax cuts for pharma, insurers, the richest Americans, and even health insurance company CEOs.

The Healthcare Education Project (HEP) and its community allies and partners who have fought for affordable and quality healthcare know what we need to do to protect the most vulnerable New Yorkers. So what is our plan and what can we do together?