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What Would Repeal Mean to Me?

A spate of legislation has been introduced to repeal or defund the Affordable Care Act. These bills represent a direct attack on the health and finances of working families. They would scrap new protections against insurance company abuses and scuttle policies that help working families afford quality coverage. Specifically:

  • 33 million Americans would lose insurance coverage by 2021. Instead of covering 95 percent of our citizens, we would only cover 83 percent. Large employers no longer would be required to provide affordable health insurance.
  • Insurance companies would be able to deny or limit coverage for children with pre-existing conditions, and affordable health insurance exchange coverage would not be available for adults with pre-existing conditions.
  • Insurance companies again would be able to retroactively cancel your insurance policy when you become sick, based on even accidental inconsistencies on your initial application.
  • Insurance companies would be free to impose lifetime and annual limits on your coverage.
  • Health insurance premiums would rise unchecked. Insurance companies would no longer be subject to federal review of unreasonable premium increases, nor would they face a federal requirement that they spend 80 percent to 85 percent of premium dollars on your health care (and not be used to increase profits or market share).
  • Millions of women and early retirees would face higher premiums for insurance. When insurance proves unaffordable, they wouldn’t have access to insurance exchanges that cannot charge more based on gender or age.
  • Health insurance exchanges would not be established to provide a regulated marketplace for people who do not have access to insurance. By 2016, 21 million people would go without this coverage, and millions of middle- and low- income families would lose federal subsidies for their premiums and co-pays.
  • Seniors on Medicare would face an alarming rise in drug costs. In the first nine months of 2011, seniors saved $1.2 billion in drug costs as health care reform’s closure of the “donut hole” began phasing in. Repealing the law would take this money back out of seniors’ pockets.
  • Seniors would have difficulty finding primary care doctors because their payment rates would be cut by 10 percent.
  • Efforts to base Medicare hospital payments on the quality of care would be ended.
  • Federal deficits would increase by $210 billion over 10 years. In addition, Medicare fraud would increase as anti-fraud efforts would be downsized.

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