Over half a million New Jerseyans could lose health coverage if Medicaid expansion is repealed
WASHINGTON, DC –(ENEWSPF)–January 11, 2017. As Senate Republicans continue efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, today U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced a series of amendments that would protect provisions under the landmark health care law that have expanded Medicaid coverage to millions of Americans.
“The effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act threatens to pull out the rug from under millions of Americans who – in many cases for the first time – gained access to affordable, quality health coverage thanks to the changes ushered in by this law,” said Sen. Booker. “The historic gains in health insurance coverage are in large part due to the 32 states that implemented Medicaid expansion, including New Jersey where more than 500,000 individuals stand to lose coverage. My amendments uphold the budget savings and economic growth that so many states have experienced as a result of the Medicaid expansion, prevent a potentially devastating financial burden for health care facilities, and protect coverage for millions Americans who cannot afford coverage.”
Sen. Booker introduced three separate amendments aiming to defend the Medicaid expansion and ensure that New Jerseyans with Medicaid coverage continue to have access to quality health care services, particularly primary care services:
An amendment Sen. Booker introduced with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) seeks to encourage more primary care providers to participate in Medicaid and increase access to care for beneficiaries by creating a deficit neutral reserve fund to align Medicaid primary care payment rates with Medicare’s higher rates.
Sen. Booker introduced a second amendment that would prevent premium increases on the health insurance marketplace resulting from a repeal of the Medicaid expansion. A September 2016 ASPE brief found that Medicaid expansion helps lower premiums in the health insurance marketplaces. The brief estimates that premiums on the health insurance marketplace are seven percent lower in states that expanded Medicaid compared to states that did not expand Medicaid.
A third amendment introduced by Sen. Booker would protect hospitals and other health care facilities from the financial burden associated with a repeal of Medicaid expansion. If the Affordable Care Act’s coverage provisions are repealed, hospitals nationwide could experience a net loss of $165.8 billion between 2018 and 2026. These losses would particularly strain hospitals and other health care facilities in underserved areas.
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