The Harsh Reality of Health Care Repeal

Posted by: Tim Mathis

Last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an analysis of H.R. 2, a bill entitled Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act, estimating that it would add $230 billion to the deficit over the next decade. The proposed bill would roll back the legislation signed into law last March which requires that most U.S. citizens have health insurance, expands Medicaid for individuals with incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line, and creates Health Insurance Exchanges and tax credits to help low-income buyers. These reforms are designed to expand health care for 32 million uninsured individuals. The CBO estimates that the reforms will cost $780 billion between 2012 and 2019. Although a repeal of health care reform would do away with these costs, it would also take out the $500 billion in cost-savings, $410 billion in revenue-raising measures, and leave a total of 54 million people without affordable health care.

H.R. 2 is cosponsored by three representatives from the Louisiana congressional delegation. A repeal of the health care reform law would harm nearly one-third of the population in Louisiana. According to The Urban Institute, approximately 300,000 people would not be eligible for Medicaid in 2014 and 1.4 million would not be eligible for subsidies to make their health insurance more affordable. In addition, 23 percent of Louisiana individuals with pre-existing conditions would lose their protections. A repeal would also prevent incentives to promote health care jobs in underserved areas, ensuring that the 34 percent of Louisianans continue to struggle to access services. Our leaders in Congress need to pay attention to the positive results that reform will bring, rather than supporting policies based on misinformation and ideology.

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