By Consumers For Quality Care, on December 1, 2020
As the Supreme Court hears arguments regarding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a new study finds that a repeal of the law would lead to 21 million Americans losing their health insurance.
Yahoo News reports on the new study, which found that repealing the law translates to a 69 percent increase in the number of uninsured Americans.
“Invalidating this law with a pound of gavel … would undoubtedly cause tremendous chaos through the health care system and state and federal government, and this chaos would be wrought for no positive return,” Linda Blumberg, an institute fellow at the Urban Institute, told Yahoo Finance.
The report found that the number of uninsured Americans would spike across all racial and ethnic groups. Most states would also see a significant increase in uninsured Americans, except for the 13 states that did not adopt Medicaid expansion.
“The larger point here is that insurance companies, before the ACA was passed, had the power and the ability — and did on a routine basis — declare people uninsurable because of a preexisting condition,” Wendell Potter, a former executive for Cigna, told Yahoo Finance. “I’m afraid that is a lot on a lot of people who don’t remember what it was like, and how so many millions of Americans could not buy coverage at any price. When you were declared uninsurable … it was almost like a death sentence.”
Experts say that the ACA has had economic benefits for the states that adopted it, including strengthening the financial status of Medicare.
The Supreme Court is hearing the case following a Texas court that ruled the individual mandate of the law was unconstitutional. The individual mandate implemented a tax penalty on people without health insurance.
Since the mandate was repealed by President Trump in 2018, some experts say that the law has already been severed from the individual mandate. Health care policy experts say that the case before the Supreme Court would be moot if lawmakers pass a law nulling the individual mandate.