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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, March 17, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 11
Trumpcare would wipe out gains made by state under ACA, new study says
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Trumpcare would wipe out gains made by state under ACA, new study says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The new Republican health care plan - dubbed Trumpcare by opponents - would wipe out all the gains made by Washington residents under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare), a new study found.

The study, by the State Insurance Commissioner's office and the Department of Social and Health Services, was unveiled March 15 by Gov. Jay Inslee and State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.

'It is a disaster for Washington,' Inslee said in a teleconference briefing. The governor said he is writing to the state's congressional delegation, asking lawmakers to 'blow the whistle on this train wreck.'

Under the ACA, 600,000 lower-income Washingtonians have gained coverage through Medicaid expansion, 80% of them in working families. An additional 190,000 enrolled this year in qualified health plans through the state's Healthplanfinder site.

Overall, the percentage of uninsured fell from 14% in 2013 to only 5.8%.

The number of uninsured was cut by 58% by the ACA but would soar back above pre-ACA levels under the Trumpcare plan, the study found.

Under Trumpcare, the federal subsidy for Medicaid coverage would be abolished, and the current 5.8% uninsured would climb to 15%, 'even higher than the 13.5% projected if the Affordable Care Act were just repealed,' said the state study.

'There are currently 410,000 uninsured people in Washington: If Trumpcare takes effect, it will jump to 1.1 million people, higher than it was before the Affordable Care Act,' said Kreidler.

An estimated 24,000 veterans and their spouses stand to lose Medicaid coverage, the state study found.

'We are very conservative in these numbers . . . We are lowballing if anything,' said Kreidler.

Ironically, the study found a higher percentage of people are likely to lose health insurance in rural areas like Cowlitz, Lewis, and Grays Harbor Counties - all of which voted for Donald Trump - than in populous King County, which gave Hillary Clinton a 500,000-vote majority.

The Congressional Budget Office, in an analysis released March 13, said that under the Trumpcare plan, billions of dollars in tax cuts would flow to investors, insurance companies, and pharmaceutical companies - nearly $1 trillion over the next decade.

'This is a tax cut for the rich masquerading as health care reform,' Inslee stated.

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