What will happen if the ACA (Affordable Care Act) goes away?

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What will happen if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) goes away

The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments a week after the election in regards to fate of the Affordable Care Act.

A federal judge in Texas invalidated the entire law in 2018.

The New York Times as evaluated some potential consequences based on various groups. Among their finding are:

  • 60 MILLION, Medicare beneficiaries would face changes to medical care and possibly higher premiums. About 60 million people are covered under Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people 65 and older and people of all ages with disabilities. Even though the main aim of the A.C.A. was to overhaul the health insurance markets, the law “touches virtually every part of Medicare,” said Tricia Neuman, a senior vice president for the Kaiser Family Foundation, which did an analysis of the law’s repeal. Overturning the law would be “very disruptive,” she said.
  • As many as 133 million Americans — roughly half the population under the age of 65 — have pre-existing medical conditions that could disqualify them from buying a health insurance policy or cause them to pay significantly higher premiums if the health law were overturned
  • Under the A.C.A., no one can be denied coverage under any circumstance, and insurance companies cannot retroactively cancel a policy unless they find evidence of fraud. The coronavirus, which has infected nearly seven million Americans to date and may have long-term health implications for many of those who become ill, could also become one of the many medical histories that would make it challenging for someone to find insurance.
  • Of the 23 million people who either buy health insurance through the marketplaces set up by the law (roughly 11 million) or receive coverage through the expansion of Medicaid (12 million), about 21 million are at serious risk of becoming uninsured if Obamacare is struck down.
  • Medicaid, the government insurance program for the poor that is jointly funded by the federal government and the states, has been the workhorse of Obamacare. If the health law were struck down, more than 12 million low-income adults who have gained Medicaid coverage through the law’s expansion of the program could lose it.
  • The health law took effect just as the opioid epidemic was spreading to all corners of the country, and health officials in many states say that one of its biggest benefits has been providing access to addiction treatment. It requires insurance companies to cover substance abuse treatment, and they could stop if the law were struck down. The biggest group able to get access to addiction treatment under the law is adults who have gained Medicaid coverage. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimated that 40 percent of people from 18 to 65 with opioid addiction — roughly 800,000 — are on Medicaid, many or most of whom became eligible for it through the health law.
  • 165 MILLION Americans who no longer face caps on expensive treatments
    The law protects many Americans from caps that insurers and employers once used to limit how much they had to pay out in coverage each year or over a lifetime. Among them are those who get coverage through an employer — more than 150 million before the pandemic caused widespread job loss — as well as roughly 15 million enrolled in Obamacare and other plans in the individual insurance market.
  • The A.C.A. required employers to cover their employees’ children under the age of 26, and it is one of the law’s most popular provisions. Roughly two million young adults are covered under a parent’s insurance plan, according to a 2016 government estimate. If the law were struck down, employers would have to decide if they would continue to offer the coverage. Dorian Smith, a partner at Mercer, a benefits consulting firm, predicted that many companies would most likely continue.
  • Medical care for the uninsured could cost billions more
    Doctors and hospitals could lose a crucial source of revenue, as more people lose insurance during an economic downturn. The Urban Institute estimated that nationwide, without the A.C.A., the cost of care for people who cannot pay for it could increase as much as $50.2 billion.
  • The A.C.A. requires nutrition labeling and calorie counts on menu items at chain restaurants.It requires many employers to provide “reasonable break time” and a private space for nursing mothers to pump breast milk.It created a pathway for federal approval of biosimilars, which are near-copies of biologic drugs, made from living cells.

    These and other measures would have no legal mandate to continue if the A.C.A. is eliminated.

To read the full article in the New York Times go to https://www.nytimes.com/article/supreme-court-obamacare-case.html.

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