When U.S. House Republicans unveiled their Affordable Care Act replacement plan last week, it unleashed a fierce partisan debate in Washington.
Republicans say their proposal would “rescue” Americans from the failures of the ACA, which they have blasted as a one-size-fits-all law that forced consumers to purchase expensive insurance plans they didn’t necessarily need and often could not afford. Democrats say the GOP’s efforts to repeal-and-replace the ACA, would strip health insurance from millions of Americans and shred the current safety net for the poor.
The GOP bill cleared two House committees last week and is set for further debate this week, with a final House floor vote expected later this month. Here are five ways the House GOP plan could affect Show-Me State residents:
- The state’s uninsured rate would rise. It’s not clear yet how many Missourians would lose — or give up — their insurance under the House GOP bill. Nationally, about 24 million Americans would become uninsured over the next decade, according to an analysis released Monday by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.
- The mandates on individuals and businesses would be nixed. Under the Affordable Care Act, people who failed to buy insurance faced a tax of as much as $2,676 in 2016. The penalty would go away under the GOP plan.
- Insurances rates would fluctuate and costs would increase for older, low-income consumers. Nationally, for individuals buying health insurance in the private market, insurance rates would rise 15 percent to 20 percent over the next few years and then decrease after that, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
- Missouri hospitals could take a financial hit. With more Missourians uninsured, hospital officials fear they would have to provide more uncompensated care.
- Missouri would lose federal funding for Medicaid. Currently, the federal government pays about 65 percent of the health-care costs for Missourians who are on Medicaid, and the state pays the other 35 percent. Under the House GOP bill, that formula would be nixed, and states would instead get a capped amount of money for each Medicaid enrollee.
Read more: Springfield News-Leader