21 Million Could Lose Health Insurance Without Obamacare

Oregon Airmen respond to Hurricane Lane during summer training in Hawaii.Air Force Medical Service/Public Domain

The Trump administration is working to scrap the Affordable Care Act.

Last year, a federal judge in Texas invalidated the entire Affordable Care Act. And this week, President Trump's Justice Department announced that it agreed with the judge that the whole law should be abandoned, not just three parts of it. And while a bloc of states is appealing the ruling, tens of millions could be affected in addition to those already relying on the nine-year-old law for health insurance known as Obamacare. 23 million people currently either buy health insurance through marketplaces set up by Obamacare or receive coverage through the expanded Medicaid, 21 million of which are most at risk if the healthcare law is scrapped.

According to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services, $525 of a $612 monthly premium is covered by the subsidies on average in the 39 states that use HealthCare.gov. Without the subsidies and marketplace, comprehensive healthcare becomes unaffordable to many, leaving them uninsured. And states lack the funds to completely replace the federal subsidies with state funds.

If the Affordable Care Act is struck down, 12 million low-income adults who received Medicaid through the program's expansion could lose it. According to the Urban Institute, 15 million people would lose enrollment, including three million children who received either Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Without free health insurance, millions would have worse access to care, likely leading to worse health conditions.

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