California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones issued a statement on Thursday in which he warns about the negative impact if president-elect Donald Trump’s proposals to repeal the Affordable Care Act are successful.
“Passage of the Affordable Care Act was one of the most significant changes in federal law in decades,” Jones, a Democrat, said in the statement. “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, over 20 million Americans gained health insurance coverage that they will lose if the law is repealed. Federal premium subsidies to help families that otherwise could not afford to buy health insurance coverage and the Medicaid expansion are essential to the expansion of coverage to over 20 million Americans. With President-Elect Trump and the Republican Congressional Leadership’s ‘repeal and replace,’ those federal subsidies are eliminated as well as the other market reforms in the Affordable Care Act, which protect ordinary consumers.”
Republican lawmakers, who have voted more than 50 times to repeal all or part of the ACA, also known as Obamacare, have begun pressing Trump to deliver. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Wednesday repealing Obamacare is a “pretty high item on our agenda” for the new Congress, according to a story from Reuters.
Jones went on to say that health insurance coverage saves lives, and that repealing the ACA would result in the denial of health insurance for people with pre-existing health conditions.
Jones asserted that Americans with employer-based and individual market coverage would lose access to preventative health care without cost sharing.
“Without the Affordable Care Act, insurers can increase profits and administrative costs, reducing the premium dollars spent on actual medical care. Children would no longer be able to stay on their parents’ insurance policies until the age of 26, and like everyone else, anyone could be denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions,” Jones wrote.
According to Jones, the ACA has provided healthcare to an additional 5.5 million Californians through Medicaid expansion and another 1.4 million Californians have health insurance through the state’s exchange, Covered California.
“For the more than 20 Million Americans who gained health insurance coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act, repeal and replace means death and despair,” he said.