ACA Repeal Threatens Health Coverage and Economic Hardship in West Virginia
(Charleston, WV) A new West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy report, Repealing the Affordable Care Act: Hurting Our Health and Our Economy, released today provides a detailed analysis of the human and economic impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in West Virginia. PDF of news release. Read the full report.
Repealing the ACA would have far-reaching effects throughout the Mountain State, including the dismantling of Medicaid expansion and the individual Marketplace, which would cause 184,000 West Virginians to lose their health insurance. West Virginia's weak economy could falter with billions in federal funds evaporating, causing the loss of 16,000 jobs by 2019 and nearly $350 million in lost tax revenue over five years.
"The ACA is much more than a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of West Virginians who have gained health coverage and important patient protections, it has been a billion dollar investment in our people that has lead to thousands of new jobs during a time when our state's communities are struggling," report author and WVCBP Executive Director Ted Boettner said.
Vital consumer protections for hundreds of thousands of West Virginians are at risk, including pre-existing conditions; insurance plan lifetime limits or caps; and free preventive care. An ACA repeal could also decrease access to substance abuse treatments to battle the state's opioid addition crisis with changes to Medicaid.
"Repealing the ACA would mean turning back the clock for many West Virginians, who, since 2010, have gained affordable, comprehensive health insurance, and protections from insurance companies " report author Kat Stoll said.
As the debate in Washington about repealing the ACA continues, Congress and the President should continue deliberation while carefully evaluating any changes to the ACA that could increase health-care costs or lower the number of people with health insurance.