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Hundreds of Thousands of Washingtonians Would Lose Health Coverage with Federal Affordable Care Act Repeal

Posted by Melinda Young-Flynn at Dec 09, 2016 06:25 PM |
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Congressional leaders in Washington, D.C. plan to move quickly in January 2017 to repeal much of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without enacting a replacement. Such a move would be devastating to the health and well-being of thousands of Washingtonians. It would set our state and its people on a path backward rather than forward. 

In fact, new analysis from the Urban Institute reveals the disastrous impact of a federal ACA repeal on Washington’s families, health care providers, and economy. Here are some key findings:  

  • 775,000 Washingtonians stand to lose their health insurance coverage if the ACA is repealed. Most of the coverage loss would occur among families with at least one worker and among people without college degrees.
  • The number of uninsured Washingtonians would more than double, from 508,000 today to 1,283,000 after a repeal. 
  • The number of uninsured would be even larger than the number uninsured prior to enactment of the ACA due to the likely collapse of the individual health insurance market with the repeal of the individual mandate and premium assistance programs.
  • Washington would lose $3.5 billion in federal funding for health care in 2019, and $42.8 billion between 2019 and 2028.

Washington state has been a leader in implementing the ACA, including establishing a new state health insurance marketplace, the Washington Health Plan Finder, and covering hundreds of thousands of people through Medicaid expansion. These efforts have helped so many Washingtonians have the opportunity to see a doctor or get medicine when they’re sick. Now, this federal proposal threatens to leave individuals in our state extremely vulnerable in terms of both health outcomes and financial security. 

The Washington State Budget & Policy Center is tracking potential federal policy changes and their impact on Washingtonians and on our efforts to build a stronger, more prosperous, and equitable state. Stay tuned for more analysis from us and our national partners on proposed federal changes. 

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