With President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans intent on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, officials from Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration said the state could lose nearly $36 billion in federal health care funding for Pennsylvanians over the next 10 years and have an adverse effect on people’s lives.
“Make no mistake – repealing the Affordable Care Act will impact millions of people in Pennsylvania around the country. Even individuals and families who have health insurance coverage through an employer will feel the effects of this,” said state Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller at a news conference Wednesday in the state Capitol in Harrisburg.
More than 1.1 million Pennsylvanians receive coverage through the ACA’s marketplace subsidies, also known as Obamacare, including 700,000 who get coverage through Medicaid expansion. If the ACA is repealed, about 20 million people in the U.S. could lose their health plans.
Miller lauded the ACA for protecting even those who buy private insurance because health insurance plans are now required to provide free preventive care services and remove annual and lifetime limits on covered benefits. Also, coverage for pre-existing medical conditions can no longer be denied.
While the ACA is not perfect, the entire law should not be repealed, Miller said.
Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy said the loss of public health funding from the ACA would hit state and local health departments hard, especially for the most vulnerable populations – children, seniors and low-income Pennsylvanians.
“Repeal without replacement would have a devastating impact across the state and leave hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians without access to health care,” said Secretary of Human Services Ted Dallas.