NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – A new report says 558,000 fewer people in Louisiana would have health insurance in 2019 if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.
According to a report from the Urban Institute, Republican policymakers plan to move quickly in January to repeal much of the health reform law. Without an adequate replacement, this would cause families in Louisiana to go without needed health care and expose them to financial risk, the report says.
Nationally, most of the coverage loss would occur among families with at least one worker and among people without college degrees, doubling the number of uninsured and leaving a higher share of people uninsured than before Obamacare took effect.
If repealed, Louisiana would lose $26.7 billion in federal funding and pay more in uncompensated care costs, according to the Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C. think tank that does economic and social policy research.
In Louisiana, repeal means the loss of $366 million in federal marketplace spending in 2019 and $4 billion between 2019 and 2028. Louisiana would lose $1.9 billion in federal Medicaid funding in 2019 and $22.7 billion between 2019 and 2028. In addition, the growth in the number of uninsured residents would increase demand for uncompensated care by $1.1 trillion nationwide between 2019 and 2028.
Assuming fixed federal spending on uncompensated care, state and local governments and health care providers would have to bear this cost.
Moderate-income working families in Louisiana would lose substantial financial assistance that is now available to help them pay their premiums and cost-sharing for insurance purchased in a marketplace.
In 2016, Louisianians who enrolled in marketplace coverage receive an average advance premium tax credit of $362, which covers 81 percent of the total monthly premium for comprehensive coverage.
In addition, nearly 312,300 more Louisiana residents have enrolled in Medicaid since 2013 – coverage gains that likely would be lost due to the elimination of the Medicaid expansion for low-income adults.
Nationwide, 4.3 million people would lose insurance right away, rising to 7.3 million by 2019.
Repealing the ACA without putting in place an adequate replacement plan that ensures affordable coverage would take health coverage away from 29.8 million people nationwide by 2019, more than doubling the total number of uninsured to 58.7 million, the Urban Institute estimates.