Washington, DC — President Trump heads to Greenville, North Carolina for a rally today, just one week after his lawyers were in court arguing in favor of the destruction of American health care in Texas v. United States. The Trump-Texas lawsuit put over 500,000 North Carolinians at risk of losing coverage and would strip protections from nearly four million North Carolinians with a pre-existing condition. Ahead of Trump’s rally, Protect Our Care executive director Brad Woodhouse released the following statement:

“President Trump needs to explain to every North Carolina family why he went to court last week to overturn America’s health care laws, strike down protections for people with pre-existing conditions and strip coverage from millions. Trump’s lawsuit would raise health care premiums for families who can’t afford it and raise prescription drug costs for North Carolinians who have to choose between pills and rent, all with the support of Senator Tillis. Voters in North Carolina and across the country know that scoring cheap political points at a rally does not make up for trying to rip their health care away.”

BACKGROUND:

If Trump Gets His Way, 503,000 North Carolinians Would Lose Their Coverage

  • 503,000 North Carolinians could lose coverage. According to the Urban Institute, 503,000 North Carolinians would lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, leading to a 43 percent increase in the uninsured rate.
  • 70,000 North Carolina young adults with their parents’ coverage could lose care. Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of young adults are able to stay on their parents’ care until age 26.
  • North Carolinians would lose important federal health care funding — an estimated reduction of $4.6 billion in the first year. The Urban Institute estimates that a full repeal of the ACA would reduce federal spending on North Carolinians’ Medicaid/CHIP care and Marketplace subsidies by $4.6 billion, or 30.3 percent in the first year.

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Be Put Back In Charge, Ending Protections For The 130 Million People Nationwide 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
  •  3,929,400 North Carolinians have a pre-existing condition, including 544,200 North Carolina children, 2,122,000 North Carolina women, and 803,300 North Carolinians between ages 55 and 64. 

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Have The Power To Deny, Drop Coverage, And Charge More 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. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, insurance companies will be able 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 largest insurance companies had retroactively canceled coverage for 20,000 people over the previous five year period.
  • 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” if the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful.

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Have The Power To Charge You More, While Their Profits Soar

  • 3,966,308 North Carolinians Could Once Again Have To Pay For Preventive Care. Because of the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers. This includes nearly 3,966,308 North Carolinians, most of whom have employer coverage.
  • Insurance Companies Could Charge Premium Surcharges in the Six Figures. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, insurance companies would be able to charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. The health repeal bill the House passed in 2017 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 Could Be Charged More Than Men for the Same Coverage. Prior to the ACA, women 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 Could Face a $4,000 “Age Tax,” Including $5,720 in North Carolina. Because Judge O’Connor sided with Republican lawmakers, insurance companies would be able to 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, including $5,720 in North Carolina, according to the AARP.
  •  426,014 North Carolinians in the Marketplaces Would Pay More for Coverage. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, consumers would 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, including 426,014 in North Carolina.
  • 165,931 North Carolina Seniors Could Have to Pay More for Prescription Drugs. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, seniors could have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole would be 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 CMS report. In North Carolina, 165,931 seniors each saved an average of $1,117.

If Trump Gets His Way, Insurance Companies Would Have the Power to Limit the Care You Get, Even If You Have Insurance Through Your Employer

  • 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.
  • Reinstate Lifetime and Annual Limits On 3,091,000 Privately Insured North Carolinians. Repealing the Affordable Care Act means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage for those insured through their employer or on the individual market.
  • Large Employers Could Choose to Follow Any State’s Guidance, Enabling Them Put Annual and Lifetime Limits on Their Employees’ Health Care. Without the ACA’s definition of essential health benefits (EHB) in even some states, states could eliminate them altogether. Large employers could choose to apply any state’s standard, making state regulations essentially meaningless. Because the prohibition on annual and lifetime limits only applies to essential health benefits, this change would allow employers to reinstate annual and lifetime limits on their employees’ coverage.

If Trump Gets His Way, Medicaid Expansion Would Be Repealed

  • 692,000 North Carolinians who could gain coverage if North Carolina were to expand Medicaid will be denied that possibility. By not fully expanding Medicaid, North Carolina has restricted its Medicaid program, preventing 692,000 residents from gaining coverage.
  • Access To Treatment Would Be In Jeopardy For 800,000 People With Opioid Use Disorder. Roughly four in ten, or 800,000 people with an opioid use disorder are enrolled in Medicaid. Many became eligible through Medicaid expansion.
  • Key Support For Rural Hospitals Would Disappear, leaving North Carolina hospitals with $1.1 billion more in uncompensated care.