Repealing the Affordable Care Act: Hurting Our Health and Our Economy
This West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy report, Repealing the Affordable Care Act: Hurting Our Health and Our Economy, provides a detailed analysis of the human and economic impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in West Virginia. 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. 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. 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. Key Findings - At least 184,000 West Virginians could lose health insurance coverage, many of whom are working in low-wage jobs such as food services. - An estimated 29,000 West Virginians could lose their premium subsidies in the Marketplace, which totaled $135.8 million in 2016. Nearly 19,000 people in this group also received cost-sharing reductions (CSRs), which lowered deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for them by roughly $23.9 million that year. - West Virginia’s budget crisis could worsen if ACA provisions that provide direct savings to the state are repealed. - The Commonwealth Fund estimates that the loss of federal dollars flowing into West Virginia from the ACA could result in the loss of 16,000 jobs and $9.1 billion in state economic output (State GDP) in 2019. - West Virginia will lose an estimated $349 million over five years in state and local taxes as a result of reduced economic activity generated by the ACA. - Vital consumer protections could be at risk, including for about 800,000 West Virginians with pre-existing conditions; 581,000 state residents who saw an end to annual and lifetime limits on insurance plans; 773,000 who received free preventive care; and about 12,000 young adults who were able to stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26.