The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Megan Smith

How Conservative Attacks on Health Care Reform Will Affect You-Attempts to Repeal Affordable Care Act Have Serious Consequences


Conservatives are starting to implement their onslaught to repeal the
Affordable Care Act this week as Republicans take control of the House
of Representatives. They have scheduled a vote on January 12. If
conservatives have their way and repeal the Affordable Care Act, we will
go back to a health care system that failed millions of Americans: one
with skyrocketing costs bankrupting families and our budget, fewer
people with access to quality care, and more people at the mercy of the
health insurance industry.

Increasing premiums for millions of Americans. Prior to
passage of the Affordable Care Act, individuals and families were faced
with skyrocketing premiums. Premiums for individuals increased 120
percent and family premiums increased 130 percent from 1999 to 2009. The
Affordable Care Act controls these costs. In fact, the nonpartisan
Congressional Budget Office or CBO looked at the law's effect on
premiums in 2016 and estimated that the health reform law would cut
premiums for millions of Americans. These premiums cuts would be more
substantial for those in the individual market, most of whom will
receive subsidies to help cover the cost. According to the CBO, those
receiving help in the individual market would see their premiums reduced
by 56 percent to 59 percent less than they would pay without the law,
while also enjoy better coverage than what they currently receive.
Repealing the law means going back to a status quo of skyrocketing
premiums that made health insurance out of reach and unaffordable for
American families.

Killing 400,000 jobs annually. The Affordable Care Act helps
create as many as 400,000 jobs annually over the next decade by lowering
costs and helping promote a healthier workforce. It includes
cost-containment measures to slow the rate of growth of health care
spending. Small businesses in particular are helped through exchanges
that allow them to pool resources to lower costs as well as tax credits
to make it more affordable to offer their employees health coverage.
These cost-reduction provisions free up money that otherwise would be
spent on health care and allow companies to spend it hiring more
workers. In addition, a healthier workforce is a more productive
workforce. Those benefits disappear, as well as the jobs created along
with it, if the law is repealed.

Increasing costs for seniors by as much as $1,500 in 2011. The
Affordable Care Act eliminates the "donut hole" in the Medicare
prescription drug program by 2020. Seniors with high prescription drug
expenses before health reform had to pay full price for their
prescription drugs--without any help from their drug plan--once their
prescription drug spending reached a pre-defined limit. People who hit
this limit in 2011 will get a 50 percent discount on their name-brand
prescription drugs, saving some Medicare enrollees as much as $1,500 in
out-of-pocket drug costs. Those savings will not be realized if the
Affordable Care Act is repealed.

Hurting communities of color. Communities of color are more
likely to be uninsured, and they suffer from higher rates of chronic
illness than the rest of the population. The Affordable Care Act
addresses these inequities by expanding health insurance coverage and
improving access to primary care, including preventive services. These
provisions will be eliminated if conservatives have their way and repeal
the health reform law.

Increasing costs and deficits. The Affordable Care Act creates
tools to control the growth in health costs while improving quality of
care. Effective implementation can reduce administrative costs for small
businesses and individuals, promote greater use of preventive care, and
prevent unnecessary hospitalizations, saving as much as $2 trillion in
total health spending over the next decade. In addition, the CBO
estimated the law will reduce the federal budget deficit by $143 billion
over the first 10 years and more than $1.2 trillion over the next two
decades. Repealing the new law stymies these much-needed efforts and
reverts to the unsustainable status quo of skyrocketing costs that were
bankrupting our country. Make no mistake: The Affordable Care Act
provides Americans economic and health security with protections against
exorbitant premium hikes, better health benefits, and slower growth in
health care costs. Conservatives in Congress are intent on taking these
benefits away and going back to a health system that was failing
America. And, to top it off, they'd keep their benefits, while taking
away ours.

Americans deserve better. We need the Affordable Care Act.

More on health reform repeal from CAP:

To reach an expert at the Center for American Progress for comment on
Health Care Repeal attempts, please contact Megan Smith at or 202.741.6346.

The Center for American Progress is a think tank dedicated to improving the lives of Americans through ideas and action. We combine bold policy ideas with a modern communications platform to help shape the national debate, expose the hollowness of conservative governing philosophy and challenge the media to cover the issues that truly matter.