June 25, 2020
OLYMPIA, Wash. – The following statement from Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler is in response to President Trump’s continued support of the Republican-led case before the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act:
“More than 2.3 million people in our country have contracted the coronavirus and at least 120,000 have died. Now, more than ever, people are looking to their government for answers and for relief. Yet, when called to provide comfort and support to the American people, President Trump instead doubles down on tearing away the very health care support millions of people are relying on.
For three years we’ve heard his attacks and yet, no alternative plan is ever presented. No better idea or vision is shared.
I’ve always said the Affordable Care Act is far from perfect. There’s so much more we should do to address health disparity and the cost of health care in our country. But today, millions of people are getting the critical care they and their families need because they have coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Many are saved from the medical bankruptcies a critical illness can cause.
Yes, as the president said, ‘Health care is complicated.’ There are no easy answers or quick fixes to righting what ails our American health care system. But I simply cannot fathom why the leader of our nation believes the best and only answer is to rip away the very coverage people need as they face the health crisis of our lifetime. It’s beyond short-sighted and ignorant - It’s heartless and cruel.”
What’s at stake in Washington state if the ACA is overturned:
- Washington state will lose $2.8 billion annually in federal funds and more than 700,000 could lose coverage.
- $2.3 billion cut in annual federal funding to pay for Medicaid expansion coverage means 600,000 newly eligible enrollees would lose health coverage.
- A $519 million cut in annual federal funding to pay for premium subsidies means 118,000 people lose the financial assistance that helps them afford health insurance.
Positive actions that would bolster health care under the ACA:
- Drop the challenge to the ACA to aid market stability and assure people they have a viable option for coverage.
- Reinstate a federal reinsurance program to reduce the rise of health insurance premiums. The program in effect from 2014 through 2016 resulted in premiums that were 10% to 15% lower. A Republican-controlled Congress scrapped the program.
- Get the remaining 14 states to expand Medicaid coverage to help residents who lose employer-sponsored coverage. The states that denied expansion currently have the highest rates of uninsured.
- Enhance subsidies to help more people to buy health insurance.