We have seen politics in America take strange turns in the last few years, turns that often seem to reflect an almost total disregard of the basic facts of political and economic life. It is critical that we don’t allow this to happen in the debate about the Affordable Care Act. The consequences of repealing the ACA in Pennsylvania will be not only devastating, but deadly.
We at PBPC are working on a detailed report about the consequences of repealing the ACA in our state. It will be ready soon. But the preliminary information we have compiled is so horrifying that we don’t want to wait to give you the broad outlines of what we are finding:
- ACA repeal will cause over 1 million Pennsylvanians to lose health insurance. Many of our fellow citizens will face dire health consequences for lack of health insurance as a result.
- ACA repeal will be very costly for the hospitals—and especially the community hospitals—that will be required to provide health care to the newly uninsured. Some of those community hospitals will close as s result.
- ACA repeal will be very damaging to our economy. Over 100,000 Pennsylvanians will lose their jobs due to repeal. The state’s gross domestic product will drop by around $75 billion dollars.
- ACA repeal will add a great deal to state and local budget difficulties. State and local tax revenues will drop over $2 billion. Between the loss of tax revenue and the additional required expenditures the state will have to make to replace ACA funding, the state’s budget deficit in the next five years, which already is approaching $2 billion a year, will grow by an additional $1.25 billion a year.
These are preliminary numbers. We will be refining them in the next few days. The final numbers are almost certain to be worse.
It is important to keep these facts in mind now that the United States House and Senate have taken the first steps towards repealing the Affordable Care Act by passing budget resolutions calling for legislation that would roll back many of the provisions of the law. This would not eliminate all provisions of the ACA, but it would end the Medicaid expansion and subsidies for individuals and families buying health insurance on the health insurance exchanges.
This is only the first step in a longer process, and there is no guarantee that the process will be complete. Indeed, if more of us recognize just how devastating the consequences of ACA repeal are for our ourselves, our friends and neighbors, our communities, and our state and then mobilize to stop repeal before there is a replacement that attains the same goals, we can stop it.
One thing you can do to help stop the repeal of the ACA is sign our petition against it. When you do so, we will forward your names to our legislators. And we will know to be sure to keep you informed about the ACA and how you can best take action to protect it.