As the threat of repeal looms over the Affordable Care Act, many of us are wondering along with our patients what the potential impact may be of a total or partial repeal, especially without any plan in motion to replace the ACA. While there is a lot of uncertainty about what a post-ACA United States could look like, one thing is clear: repeal of the ACA will have a hugely negative impact on the health of this country and our patients’ access to care.
To that end, CIR members have come out in force to defend the law that has provided 20 million people in the U.S. with health coverage.
What can you do?
If you have 1 minute…
CIR Members Flood Congressional Phone Lines, January 10
CIR members participated in a national Call In Day on January 10 to urge their legislators to protect the Affordable Care Act and their patients’ access to care (want to join in? Call 866-426-2631 today to tell Congress to show us their plan to lower healthcare costs and make improvements before taking vital healthcare and Medicaid away from millions of Americans)
Doctors Rally for the ACA in San Francisco, January 9
CIR members at Zuckerberg San Francisco General joined physicians and medical students around the country calling on Congress to #ProtectOurPatients.
Petition Presentation and Press Conference, January 9
CIR members Drs. Bryanna Schwartz and Anna Abrams stood alongside members of Doctors for America and Protect Our Patients in Washington, D.C. to defend patients and the Affordable Care Act following the presentation of a petition signed by 4,000 medical students to Congress to protect the Affordable Care Act.
Doctors Join House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi to Stand Up for Patients, January 7
CIR leaders joined House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Reps. Barbara Lee and Jackie Speier at a press conference at Zuckerberg San Francisco General calling on the GOP Congress not to #MakeAmericaSickAgain.
NYC-Area Physician Groups Join Forces to Protect Their Patients, January 5
CIR New York Regional Vice President Dr. Priscilla Chukwueke joined NYC Public Health Commissioner (and former CIR member!) Dr. Mary Bassett along with other physician groups to protect their patients from dangerous Congressional plans to gut the Affordable Care Act, radically transform Medicare and Medicaid, and sabotage women’s reproductive health services.
CIR Members Tell Congress: Medicaid Matters
Drs. Corrielle Caldwell, CIR New York Regional Vice President, and David Mao, joined other members of SEIU to tell the country what’s at stake for the 30 million Americans – including seniors, children, and individuals with disabilities – who count on Medicaid if Congress rushes to take away their healthcare:
Physician Day of Action, December 12
Hundreds of physicians across the country took to the internet on December 12 to share their patients’ stories and tell Congress why the ACA and Medicaid are vital to our patients and our ability to provide care.
Repealing the ACA would be the only true disaster: Stories from physicians across the nation pour in on first day of call for testimonials about Affordable Care Act’s life-saving impact, HealthInsurance.org
Do you have questions about the ACA and what its repeal could mean for our patients?[toggle title=”What is the ACA?”]
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a comprehensive healthcare reform law enacted in 2010.
The law has 3 primary goals:
- Make affordable health insurance available to more people. The law provides consumers with subsidies (“premium tax credits”) that lower costs for households with incomes between 100% and 400% of the federal poverty level.
- Expand the Medicaid program to cover all adults with income below 138% of the federal poverty level. (Not all states have expanded their Medicaid programs.)
- Support innovative medical care delivery methods designed to lower the costs of health care generally.
The Center for Disease Control reported that the percentage of people without health insurance fell from 16.0% in 2010 to 8.9% during the January–June 2016 period.
[/toggle] [toggle title=”How did the ACA change things for our patients?”]
CIR members work predominantly in safety-net hospitals in New York, California, Massachusetts, Florida, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. As such, our patients are among some of the most typically underserved populations throughout the country. Under the ACA, the uninsured rates changed dramatically for a number of different groups of people:
- African Americans: The uninsured rate has declined 59% for African Americans (from about 27% to 15%
- Latinos: The uninsured rate for Latinos has declined 47% (from about 19% in 2010 to 8% in 2015)
- Veterans: The uninsured rate for non-elderly veterans declined 42% from 2013 to 20145
- Working Americans: The uninsured rate for working Americans declined 32% from 2013 to 2015
Republicans have been outspoken in their commitment to repeal the ACA, but what would take its place is still unclear. Should Congress vote to repeal the law, there would likely be a delay — possibly by as much as three years — before Republicans implement a plan to replace it.
So what are are the implications of Repeal and Delay? Healthcare industry leaders warn that delaying a replacement plan could cause the individual insurance market to collapse. The 20 million people who have gained access to healthcare through the ACA, either through subsidies or through expanded Medicaid, will be at risk of losing their coverage. The loss of the ACA would endanger hospitals that would provide uncompensated care for the 20 million people who would become uninsured once the ACA is gone.
The Senate is currently debating budget language which would authorize the drafting of a budget reconciliation bill to enact their Repeal and Delay plan. That authorizing resolution was debated last week, the week of January 2nd, and will continue this week with a vote in both the Senate and House by January 13th. The next step after that is to draft the actual repeal bill.[/toggle]