A straight repeal of the Affordable Care Act could mean that the country’s hospitals would cumulatively incur $1.1 trillion in uncompensated care costs from 2019 to 2028, according to a new report from the Urban Institute.
The findings are grim: The number of uninsured citizens would spike from 28.9 million to 58.7 million, more than when the ACA was passed because of the perceived volatility of the individual marketplace from the disruption. That will almost double the uninsured rate, from 11 percent to 21 percent. Congress is currently considering partial repeal through reconciliation, which targets components of the law that would have an impact on the federal budget, the report notes. And then there’s this: “There is currently no consensus around alternative health policies to enact as the ACA is repealed; consequently, partial repeal via reconciliation without replacement is possible and merits analysis.”
“This scenario does not just move the country back to the situation before the ACA. It moves the country to a situation with higher uninsurance rates than was the case before the ACA’s reforms,” the report continues. “To replace the ACA after reconciliation with new policies designed to increase insurance coverage, the federal government would have to raise new taxes, substantially cut spending, or increase the deficit.”