Participants urge Republicans: “Don’t Make America Sick Again.”
CLINTON, Md. – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen today joined Rev. Delman Coates, Ph.D., pastor of Mt. Ennon Baptist Church, Congressmen Steny Hoyer, Anthony Brown and John Sarbanes, county executives Rushern L. Baker III and Isiah “Ike” Leggett, community members, leading health service providers and non-profit organizations like the Maryland Citizens Health Initiative, Black Mental Health Alliance, Maryland Hospital Association, Greater Baden Medical Services and Progressive Maryland for a conversation devoted to exploring the immediate and widespread dangers of repealing the Affordable Care Act.
“Make America Sick Again” sign is displayed during a news conference on President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
The event comes as the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a new report finding that for Americans without employer-sponsored health insurance, premiums would increase 20-25 percent in the first year, and premiums would about double by 2026. The report also forecast that in the first year after repealing the ACA, 18 million Americans would lose health insurance. By 2026, 32 million Americans would be without health insurance.
“Repealing the Affordable Care Act without any semblance of a plan as to how to replace it will seriously impact Marylanders’ lives. The number of uninsured people in our state has dropped by about half since the ACA’s passage, which benefits everyone because taxpayers no longer have to absorb the cost-shifting to pay for those who are not covered. And that progress is at extreme risk, but it goes much further,” said Senator Cardin. “Many with inadequate coverage, pre-existing condition restrictions, coverage caps or limits to preventative health care now have higher-quality coverage. And we’ve slowed the growth of health care costs to the lowest rate in modern history. But all of these gains for the people of Maryland, and many more, are about to be lost. We simply cannot let that happen. Don’t Make America Sick Again.”
“The more we learn about the impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act, the scarier the results become,” said Senator Van Hollen. “Just today, the CBO increased their estimate of Americans who would lose insurance to 32 million people over 10 years – a staggering number which would have tragic impacts on individuals and families in Maryland and across the country. Those who don’t lose their care would see their premiums skyrocket, another unacceptable result of repeal. Maryland families have made it clear that the ACA has improved their lives, and they want to protect it. But Washington Republicans are ignoring the pleas of the American people with their plan to push our health care system off a cliff – and run away before it crumbles on impact.”
“The Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act without immediately replacing it will have devastating consequences for millions of Marylanders,” said Congressman Hoyer. “The ACA has made health care accessible and affordable for thousands of Maryland families, and communities from Bowie to Leonardtown will feel the impact if Republicans in Congress take away the benefits the law provides for everyone, even those with insurance through their employer. I will continue to oppose efforts to Make America Sick Again by repealing the ACA without a plan to replace it.”
“Repealing the Affordable Care Act would have brutal consequences on the families of the Fourth Congressional District. Nearly half a million individuals would lose critical consumer protections, thousands of seniors would face higher prescription drug prices, small businesses and working families would lose tax credits, costs to community hospitals would increase by tens of millions of dollars a year leading to layoffs and cuts in services and medical research, and the number of uninsured would rise dramatically,” said Congressman Brown. “The Republicans’ ideological obsession with taking away health care from millions is wrong for Maryland and the country. I will resist any effort to take away health coverage from those who need it, drive up costs for all, or destroy jobs. We must protect and build upon the Affordable Care Act, not blindly repeal it.
“The GOP’s special-interest agenda – which includes dismantling the Affordable Care Act – will have disastrous implications for millions of Americans,” said Congressman Sarbanes. “The ACA has provided health insurance to more than 350,000 Marylanders, and it has made tremendous advancements in the delivery of care. I was proud to join fellow Marylanders today as we highlighted the harmful impacts of repealing the ACA, and I remain committed to pushing back against the Republican Majority’s short-sighted plans to eliminate this lifesaving reform.”
Nearly 350,000 Marylanders—and roughly 20 million Americans nationwide—have gained access to health care through the coverage provisions of the ACA, including subsidized coverage through the insurance marketplaces and expansion of Medicaid eligibility.
President-elect Donald Trump and fellow Republicans in Congress already have taken preliminary steps to repeal the ACA, while not having a plan to replace it. U.S. Representative Elijah E. Cummings recently released an assessment detailing the impact the ACA repeal will have on Maryland. Its findings included the following:
- 347,000 individuals in the state who have gained coverage since the ACA was implemented could lose their coverage if the ACA is entirely or partially repealed.
- 72,175 individuals in the state who received cost-sharing reductions to lower out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance are now at risk of having healthcare become unaffordable if the Republican Congress eliminates cost-sharing reductions.
- 2,953,834 individuals in the state who now have private health insurance that covers preventive services without any co-pays, coinsurance, or deductibles stand to lose this access if the Republican Congress eliminates ACA provisions requiring health insurers to cover important preventive services without cost-sharing.
- Women in the state who can now purchase insurance for the same price as men are at risk of being charged more for insurance if the Republican Congress eliminates the ACA’s ban on gender rating in the individual and small group markets. Before the ACA, women paid up to 39% more than men for their health insurance.
- Roughly 975,000 individuals in the state who have pre-existing health conditions are at risk of having their coverage rescinded, being denied coverage, or being charged significantly more for coverage if the Republican Congress eliminates the ACA’s ban on pre-existing conditions.
- The state is at risk of losing $2.41 billion in federal Medicaid dollars if the Republican Congress eliminates the Medicaid expansion.
- 86,073 seniors who have saved an average of $1,158 each as a result of closing the Medicare prescription drug “donut hole” gap in coverage stand to lose this critical help going forward.
604,509 seniors who have received free preventive care services thanks to ACA provisions requiring coverage of annual wellness visits and eliminating cost-sharing for many recommended preventive services covered by Medicare Part B, such as cancer screenings, are at risk of losing access to these services if congressional Republicans go forward with their plan to repeal the ACA.