Thursday, May 31, 2012

ACA repeal could have serious consequences in Washington

Everyone’s speculating on what the U.S. Supreme Court will decide next month about the federal  Affordable Care Act  (ACA).  But you don’t need to speculate about what the court’s decision could mean to Washington State or your local county.

A new report issued Tuesday by Insurance Commissioner Mike Kriedler shows that repeal of the ACA could have dramatic and dire consequences for workers, businesses, families and senior citizens across Washington. The new report—What's at stake: The Affordable Care Act in Washington state. A county-by-county analysis—documents that if the Affordable Care Act is repealed in its entirety, the loss would:

• Cancel a 2014 expansion of Medicaid that would provide coverage to 328,000 currently uninsured Washingtonians.
• Eliminate subsidies that are scheduled to begin in 2014 that would help an additional 477,400 uninsured Washingtonians to afford private health insurance.
• Cancel the phase‐out of the prescription‐drug “donut hole” that is inflating the costs of prescription medications for more than 1 million Washingtonians on Medicare.

The report also shows many of the 5.8 million currently insured Washingtonians could be whacked if the court strikes down key ACA provisions that are currently in effect, such as the measure’s ban on lifetime dollar limits for health benefits, the ban on deductibles or co-pays for preventive services, and the provision of tax rebates for small businesses and expanded coverage for early retirees.

So there is no need to ask who will be affected by the forthcoming Supreme Court decision. Everyone in Washington will be affected … for better or worse.

To read this story in Spanish, please click here.