For the past two years, Republicans have been waging a relentless war on health care trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Last night, Republicans got their wish when U.S. Northern Texas District Court Judge Reed O’Connor sided with Republican lawmakers in 20 states and invalidated the ACA in its entirety. With this decision, Republicans are close to doing through the Courts what they failed to do legislatively: repeal our health care, which will rip coverage from millions of Americans, raise costs, end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, put insurance companies back in charge, and force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs.
The ruling is legally wrong and must be overturned. If not, this ruling will, as the Trump Administration itself admitted in Court, unleash “chaos” in our entire health care system.
Thanks To The Republican Lawsuit, 17 Million People Could Lose Their Coverage
- According to the Urban Institute, 17.1 million people could lose coverage in the first year by repealing the Affordable Care Act, leading to a 50 percent increase in the uninsured rate.
Republicans Convinced The Court To Put Insurance Companies Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 130 Million People With A Pre-Existing Condition
- According to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress, roughly half of nonelderly Americans, or as many as 130 million people, have a pre-existing condition. This includes:
- 44 million people who have high blood pressure
- 45 million people who have behavioral health disorders
- 44 million people who have high cholesterol
- 34 million people who have asthma and chronic lung disease
- 34 million people who have osteoarthritis and other joint disorders
- 17 million children. One in four children, or roughly 17 million, have a pre-existing condition.
- 68 million women. More than half of women and girls nationally have a pre-existing condition.
- 30 million people aged 55-64. 84 percent of older adults, 30.5 million Americans between age 55 and 64, have a pre-existing condition.
Republicans Convinced The Court To Give Insurance Companies The Power To Deny Or Drop Coverage Because Of A Pre-Existing Condition
Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies routinely denied people coverage because of a pre-existing condition or canceled coverage when a person got sick. Now insurance companies have license to do this again.
- A 2010 congressional report found that the top four health insurance companies denied coverage to one in seven consumers on the individual market over a three year period.
- A 2009 congressional report found that the of the largest insurance companies had retroactively canceled coverage for 20,000 people over the previous five year period
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Republicans Convinced The Court To Give Insurance Companies The Power To Charge You More
- More than 100 Million People With A Pre-Existing Condition Could Be Forced to Pay More. An analysis by Avalere finds that “102 million individuals, not enrolled in major public programs like Medicaid or Medicare, have a pre-existing medical condition and could therefore face higher premiums or significant out-of-pocket costs” thanks to the Republican lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
- Premium Surcharges Can Once Again Be In The Six Figures. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, insurance companies can charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The House-passed repeal bill had a similar provision, and an analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer.
- Women Can Be Charged More Than Men For The Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women, for example, were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50 percent higher than they charged men for the same coverage.
- People Over The Age of 50 Can Face A $4,000 “Age Tax.” Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, insurance companies can charge people over 50 more than younger people. The Affordable Care Act limited the amount older people could be charged to three times more than younger people. If insurers were to charge five times more, as was proposed in the Republican repeal bills, that would add an average “age tax” of $4,124 for a 60-year-old in the individual market, according to the AARP.
- Nine Million People In The Marketplaces Will Pay More For Coverage. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, consumers no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums, meaning roughly nine million people who receive these tax credits to pay for coverage will have to pay more.
- Seniors Will Have To Pay More For Prescription Drugs. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, seniors will have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole got reopened. From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a January 2017 Centers on Medicare and Medicaid Services report.
Republicans Convinced The Court To Give Insurance Companies The Power To Limit The Care You Get, Even If You Have Insurance Through Your Employer
- Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits. Thanks to the Republican lawsuit, insurance companies can once again impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage.
- Insurance Companies Do Not Have to Provide the Coverage You Need. The Affordable Care Act made comprehensive coverage more available by requiring insurance companies to include “essential health benefits” in their plans, such as maternity care, hospitalization, substance abuse care and prescription drug coverage. Before the ACA, people had to pay extra for separate coverage for these benefits. For example, in 2013, 75 percent of non-group plans did not cover maternity care, 45 percent did not cover substance abuse disorder services, and 38 percent did not cover mental health services. Six percent did not even cover generic drugs.
Republicans Convinced The Court To End Medicaid Expansion
- Fifteen million people have coverage through the expanded Medicaid program.