The Texas uninsured rate would increase over the current rate by the year 2022 under Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and replace it with Medicaid block grants and tax incentives, according to a Commonwealth Fund report.
Thirty-one percent of Texas adults under age 65 currently lack health insurance. Under the ACA, the rate would decrease in 10 years to 14.7 percent. According to a microsimulation by MIT economist Jon Gruber, the Romney plan would increase the uninsured rate to 34.3 percent.
In raw numbers, the ACA would decrease the current number of uninsured from 7.4 million to 3.5 million while the Romney plan would leave 8.1 million Texans without insurance in a decade.
Texas was one of nine states in which the uninsured rate of non-elderly adults would exceed 30 percent, according to the estimate. The rate would rise to 25 percent in 21 states. Texas would continue to lead the nation in the percentage of uninsured adults and children.
Nationally, the number of uninsured individuals would increase in every state and would increase the number of uninsured adults and children to 72 million, according to the report.
According to a Congressional Budget Office analysis, repealing the ACA would increase the federal deficit by $109 billion between 2013 and 2022.
The report also compared Romney’s proposals with the ACA on Medicare. The repeal of the ACA would eliminate the phasing out of the “doughnut hole” in the prescription drug benefit, the free annual wellness physician visit and preventive care without cost sharing.
Romney has proposed raising the eligibility age to 67 and converting the program to a premium-support program. The report estimated that the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund would be depleted by 2016 with the ACA’s repeal, compared with the current project of 2024.
Steve Jacob is editor of D Healthcare Daily and author of the new book Health Care in 2020: Where Uncertain Reform, Bad Habits, Too Few Doctors and Skyrocketing Costs Are Taking Us. He can be reached at email@example.com.