The Days Ahead

obama_signs_health_careRegardless of where you stand politically, most people agree there is some uncertainty as it relates to what we can expect once President-elect Donald Trump takes office next month. That is particularly true when it comes to the Affordable Care Act – also known as Obamacare.

“Repeal and replace” is a hot topic right now. Specifically….what it might mean for people with pre-existing conditions.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation report suggests that if the ACA were repealed or amended, up to 52 million Americans could be considered uninsurable if they applied for individual market coverage under pre-ACA underwriting practices that existed in nearly all states. As you can see in the infographic below, more than one million of those people live here in Arizona.

pre-existing

From the Wall Street Journal:

Because so many people with a pre-existing condition have to worry about whether their circumstances might change someday, a much larger share of the public is likely to be interested in this issue than the number of people who stand to be affected immediately by policy changes.

President-elect Donald Trump has said that he wants to protect people who have pre-existing medical conditions. Details of Republican health-care plans are not yet known, but they are expected to involve establishing high-risk pools within states, among other measures. Without the plan details it is hard to say how strong protections will be.

More than 1-in-4 adult Americans who are under the age of 65, about 27% of the population, have a pre-existing condition. A Kaiser Health Tracking poll back in August claimed that 53% of Americans said that they or a family member had a pre-existing condition after being read a definition of the term.

AOL.com has a video on its website that looks at the likelihood of a quick repeal and what that could mean for people with pre-existing conditions. Click here or on the picture below to watch the story.

repeal

Clearly, this is an incredibly important issue to millions of people – many of whom live here in our state. Modern Healthcare quoted the authors of the Kaiser Family Foundation report as saying, “There is bipartisan desire to protect people with pre-existing conditions, but the details of replacement plans have yet to be ironed out, and those details will shape how accessible insurance is for people when they have health conditions.”

This is not a political statement about the merits or drawbacks of the ACA. What we are hoping to do is generate a conversation around what it might mean for people if the law is repealed.  We believe we need some careful reflection on the particulars of what repeal and replace will mean in terms of the impact it will have on folks both across the country and here in Arizona. We would love to hear what you think. Working together is the best way to foster better health in our state. And the healthier we are, the sooner we can reach our goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

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