What would the potential repeal of Affordable Care Act/Obamacare mean for Florida?
January 9, 2017
Adapted from Florida Legal Services
President-elect Trump and Congressional leaders have repeatedly stated their intent to repeal the ACA, and it has been widely reported that the repeal effort will be “fast-tracked” starting in January 2017.
ACA repeal puts coverage for over 2.2 million Floridians-- including children, people with disabilities, and pre-existing conditions-- at risk. Most are in working families. The ACA, Medicaid, and CHIP have provided affordable health insurance coverage to millions of Americans-- many of them for the first time starting in 2014. Nationwide, over 80% of Americans that stand to lose coverage are members of working families with family incomes between 100 and 250% of the federal poverty level (between $24,300 and $60,750 for a family of 4). These are working Floridians who have been able to afford to go to the doctor for the first time in years.
Florida would lose billions in federal support. Not only will the Floridians lose their health insurance, Florida stands to lose over $8 billion in federal dollars annually. Most of those dollars (over $6.1 billion) go to pay for the premium tax credits and cost sharing reductions that make insurance affordable for low and moderate income Floridians. This large loss of federal funding does not account for the ripple effect of additional lost revenue that would be experienced in local economies.
Many Floridians would immediately lose affordable health coverage. Repealing this federal support for coverage without a replacement plan, would destabilize the insurance market almost immediately. Even a gradual phase out of the tax credits that help make coverage affordable could force most Floridians out of the marketplace. Those remaining will likely be less healthy, and insurers need healthy consumers to balance the cost of paying for sicker customers. The proposed repeal without out replacement means premiums could skyrocket for all of us.
Florida would lose ground on historic progress covering children. More children have coverage than ever before on record-- 95% nationally and 93% in Florida in 2015. The anticipated ACA repeal would reverse this historic progress. Nationally, repeal alone would double the number of uninsured children. Threats to alter financing of Medicaid and CHIP--also on the table for 2017 healthcare proposals--would mean additional cuts to kids and families who rely on those programs.
 Linda J. Blumberg, Matthew Buettgens, and John Holahan, “Implications of Partial Repeal of the ACA through Reconciliation,” Urban Institute, December 2016. The “UI Report” modeled the effect of a repeal bill similar to the reconciliation bill vetoed by President Obama in January 2016.
 J. Alker and A. Chester, “Children’s Health Coverage Rate Now at Historic High of 95 Percent,” Georgetown University Center for Children and Families (October 2016), available at http://ccf.georgetown.edu/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Kids-ACS-update-11-02-1.pdf