Release: Friday, January 6, 2017
Atlanta, GA – Congressional Republicans are making moves in coordination with members of the incoming Trump Administration—including Trump’s pick to head HHS, Representative Tom Price—to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. As a surprise to no one, Republicans are short on details, but that hasn’t stopped Georgia Republicans from announcing the formation of a “’repeal Obamacare’ task force to guide how Georgia responds to President-elect Donald Trump’s plans, saying the effort was one of their top priorities for the upcoming legislative session.”
The GOP has also indicated their intentions to privatize Medicare and cut state funds for Medicaid—a move that would disproportionately harm seniors, persons with disabilities, and low-income Georgians.
“Obamacare, Medicare, and Medicaid are proven to work and often mean the difference between life and death to millions of Georgians. Why are Republicans more eager to use our tax dollars for a ludicrous wall than they are to protect the wellbeing of the people? This plan to rip away Georgians’ healthcare will create utter chaos and the GOP would be wise to shift their attention to solving real issues.” – Rebecca DeHart, Executive Director
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – Impact of the Affordable Care Act in Georgia
Employer Coverage: 5,240,000 people in Georgia are covered through employer-sponsored health plans. Since the ACA was enacted in 2010, this group has seen:
Medicaid: 1,782,301 people in Georgia are covered by Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, including 1,253,841 children and 137,671 seniors and people with disabilities covered by both Medicaid and Medicare. The ACA expanded Medicaid eligibility and strengthened the program for those already eligible.
Individual market: 478,016 people in Georgia have coverage through the Marketplace. Individual market coverage is dramatically better compared to before the ACA:
Medicare: 1,574,058 people in Georgia are covered by Medicare. The ACA strengthened the Medicare Trust Fund, extending its life by over a decade. In addition, Medicare enrollees have benefited from:
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities – Impact of Affordable Care Act Repeal
1 million fewer people in Georgia would have health insurance in 2019 if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, new Urban Institute estimates show. Republican policymakers plan to move quickly in January to repeal much of the health reform law without enacting a replacement.
Under Repeal, Georgia Would Lose $32.7 Billion in Federal Funding and Pay More in Uncompensated Care Costs
States would lose significant federal funds as marketplace subsidies and the Medicaid expansion end. Even states that didn’t expand Medicaid would see declines in federal spending as eligible people fall of the program. In Georgia, repeal means the loss of $1.8 billion in federal marketplace spending in 2019 and $20.5 billion between 2019 and 2028. Georgia would lose $953 million in federal Medicaid funding in 2019 and $12.2 billion between 2019 and 2028.
In addition, the growth in the number of uninsured residents would increase demand for uncompensated care by $1.1 trillion nationwide between 2019 and 2028. Assuming fixed federal spending on uncompensated care, state and local governments and health care providers would have to bear this cost.
Eliminating Marketplace Subsidies and Reducing Medicaid Enrollment Would Hit Low- and Moderate-Income Families
Moderate-income working families in Georgia would lose substantial financial assistance that is now available to help them pay their premiums and cost-sharing for insurance purchased in a marketplace. In 2016, Georgians who enrolled in marketplace coverage receive an average advance premium tax credit of $287, which covers 75% of the total monthly premium for comprehensive coverage.
In addition, nearly 220,900 more Georgia residents have enrolled in Medicaid since 2013 – coverage gains that likely would be lost due to the elimination of the Medicaid expansion for low-income adults.
Harmful Effects Would Be Felt Immediately
Repeal would destabilize the non-group insurance market beginning in 2017 as a combination of several factors — pending loss of subsidies, elimination of the requirement to buy insurance, and the requirement on insurers to sell to all purchasers — would cause prices to rise and the healthiest people to drop coverage. Nationwide, 4.3 million people would lose insurance right away, rising to 7.3 million by 2019.