December 9, 2016
OLYMPIA, Wash. – Gov. Jay Inslee and Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler today sent a letter [PDF, 1MB] to U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy voicing their strong opposition to congressional efforts to repeal or roll back the Affordable Care Act, or to damage the Medicaid and Medicare programs, which provide affordable health coverage for millions of Washingtonians. The letter was sent in response to McCarthy and other Republican leaders asking governors and insurance commissioners to comment [PDF, 1 MB] on their upcoming plans to repeal health care policies that impact millions of American children and families, without offering any plans to replace them.
Since ACA implementation in 2013:
- Approximately 750,000 additional Washingtonians have gained access to health care coverage.
- Washington’s uninsured rate has dropped from 14 percent to an unprecedented 5.8 percent.
- An estimated 51,000 health-related jobs have been added to Washington’s economy.
- The rate of health care cost inflation has slowed to about 3 percent per year, well below historic inflation rates.
“Any attempt to roll back the ACA is a roll back on one of the most important things we’ve done to help working families in recent years,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “Washington has shown how well the ACA works. It’s helped hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians get access to health care, it’s created jobs, and it’s helping us transform health care delivery, especially in the context of our other efforts related to Medicaid. To the extent Congressman McCarthy and Republicans want to work on improving the law, we’re ready to help. But any vote that repeals without replacing, or defunds, the care Washingtonians receive – and any plan that takes away health care from Washington families - is one we will fight.”
“Any action to repeal the ACA without a viable, meaningful replacement will unravel all of the progress we’ve made and seriously imperil our health insurance market,” said Commissioner Kreidler. “Washington state has benefited from its early adoption of health reform, yet we know there is more work to do. We are ready to participate in the national conversation on improving access to health care for all Americans, but we will not support ideas that move us backwards. Whatever proposals Rep. McCarthy and the Republicans are considering, they must first do no harm.”
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