What Would it Mean in Arizona?

President-elect Donald Trump is promising to quickly repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – also known as Obamacare. If that happens, what will it mean for the roughly 200,000 Arizonans who have health coverage through the ACA?

According to a recent story in Cronkite News/Arizona PBS, perhaps not much…..at least not right away.

…health policy experts say that whatever Trump and the Republican Congress do or do not do to Obamacare after they take office next month, those who have enrolled in the marketplace are “more than likely” to keep their coverage for 2017.

That’s because coverage is good for a year even if opponents could halt the program on Day One – and published reports indicate Republicans in Congress may not be interested in cutting people off cold turkey, but in quickly enacting a repeal that would gradually phase out the law.

According to the story, which also ran in the Tucson Sentinel, the number of Arizonans who may be affected in the long-term by a repeal of Obamacare could be much higher than 200,000.

DJ Quinlan, spokesman for the Alliance for Healthcare Security, puts the number in Arizona closer to 400,000. That includes not just people getting coverage directly but those who were able to get coverage because of other parts of the law, such as its ban on denying patients with pre-existing conditions, or its provision letting children stay on a parent’s policy until age 26.

“The fact is that those who are in favor of ACA repeal have not released a plan,” Quinlan said. “We believe that it is highly irresponsible to repeal the ACA without having an immediate replacement.”

He said patients won’t be the only ones hit if there is no plan to replace the Affordable Care Act – doctors and hospitals would be hurt, too.

“Here in Arizona, we have benefited tremendously by the additional federal funding that allowed expansion of the state’s Medicaid program,” Quinlan said.

If that 400,000 number is accurate and you took all of those people and put them into one place….it would be the fourth largest city in the state of Arizona (behind only Phoenix, Tucson, and Mesa). All to say – a huge number of Arizonans are likely to feel the effects of any decision that repeals and replaces the current law.

Let us know how you think the next few months will shake out, and whether you believe a new health law (that replaces Obamacare) should further the goal of achieving better care, better health and lower cost for the people of our state. Generating conversations around the health issues making headlines is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!

One thought on “What Would it Mean in Arizona?

  1. Let’s not forget about all the ppl who have been severely (negatively) impacted. For example, those of us who earn too much to qualify for a subsidy and too little to pay the jacked up premiums caused by the ACA! Plus, as a single, self-employed person who can no longer afford ANY qualifying plans I’m forced to pay hefty penalties. It’s unconscionable to take that penalty money from me when I could use it to either pay fee-for-service or buy a catastrophic plan that does meet my needs in 2017.

    Furthermore, it’s simply wrong to force me to buy an ACA plan when all but one insurer has pulled out of my county. That insurer is a poor, expensive choice and not a widely accepted plan by many physicians.

    ACA cannot be repealed fast enough for me! Coverage that was adequate and affordable has been put out of my reach. Americans should be free to choose whether or not they want to participate in a govt plan without penalties! This is still America, right?


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