|May 29, 2017
American Health Care Act Leaves 23 Million without Coverage including 117,000 in Maine
The CBO score calculates that the AHCA would reduce the federal deficit by $119 billion between 2017 and 2026. This represents a smaller reduction that the $150 billion the CBO estimated in March of this year, mostly because of some adjustments to the final House language that inserted to help pay for coverage for patients high health care costs.
Of the 23 million Americans losing coverage by 2026, 14 million would lose coverage immediately in 2018. White House officials disputed the numbers and HHS Secretary Tom Price noted that many individuals purchasing individuals policies on the exchange are paying higher premiums than before the ACA was enacted and implemented.
The analysis by the Center for American Progress estimates that the 117,000 individuals losing coverage in Maine include 57,300 medicaid enrollees, 47,500 fewer individuals purchasing through the marketplace exchange and 11,900 fewer individuals covered by employer-offered health insurance.
The reaction of Maine's Congressional delegation to the reports was predictable with Senators Collins and King and Congresswoman Pingree expressing concern about the negative impact of the AHCA on Mainers but a spokesperson for Second District Congressman Bruce Poliquin noted that the premiums and co-payments in the exchange are increasing and insurers are leaving the market. "Simply put: Obamacare is failing, impacting tens of thousands of Maine families. We must fix the problem," stated Brendan Conley in a prepared release.
MMA continues to work with the delegation toward the goal of repairing the ACA promoting the principles espoused in a document on health system reform released by the Association in January. The document can be found on the MMA website at www.mainemed.com.
Both Houses of Congress are on recess this coming week. When they return to the capital the following week, work on healthcare will continue on the Senate side. One major sticking point is the $880 billion in medicaid cuts in the AHCA over a ten-year period. Several Republican Senators have expressed concern about the cuts, including several in states that expanded medicaid under the provisions of the ACA.
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