Home Healthcare New Fact Sheet: What the Congressional Republican Agenda Means for Virginians’ Health...

New Fact Sheet: What the Congressional Republican Agenda Means for Virginians’ Health Care

Republicans "want to rip away protections for people with pre-existing conditions, raise premiums, and take health insurance away from millions of Americans."

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From Protect Our Care:

NEW FACT SHEET

What the Congressional Republican Agenda Means for Virginians’ Health Care

Today, Protect Our Care released a new fact-sheet highlighting how Republicans’ radical plan to raise costs and rip away health care from millions of Americans will impact Virginians. Republicans in Congress have set their sights on making massive cuts to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicaid, and Medicare. They are working to throw out protections for pre-existing conditions, repeal the Inflation Reduction Act’s measures to reduce the cost of drugs, make coverage more affordable for nearly 15 million Americans, and gut Medicaid expansion, which covers 20 million people. These cuts would be disastrous for Virginians, disproportionately impacting children, rural Americans, people with disabilities, and people of color in Virginia and across the country.

Protect Our Care’s new fact sheets outline the consequences of Republicans’ plans to repeal the ACA and Medicaid expansion. Republicans refuse to give up on this decade-long effort despite the ACA and Medicaid expansion being extremely popular with voters.

These attacks come as more and more Americans rely on the ACA and Medicaid for their health care. President Biden and Democrats in Congress passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which expanded tax credits to help make premiums more affordable for people purchasing coverage on their own. President Biden also made record investments in the Navigator program and eliminated the family glitch, which previously blocked millions of families from receiving coverage under the ACA. As a result, the uninsured rate has reached an all-time low, and a record 16.3 million people have signed up for health care coverage for 2023.

Protect Our Care Virginia State Director Katie Baker issued the following statement:

“Republicans have promised to gut the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid. They want to rip away protections for people with pre-existing conditions, raise premiums, and take health insurance away from millions of Americans. If they get their way, health care costs would go through the roof and millions would have nowhere to turn.”

What the Congressional Republican Agenda Means for Virginia

Speaker McCarthy and MAGA Congressional Republicans have committed to balance the budget while adding $3 trillion or more to the deficit through tax cuts skewed to the wealthy and large corporations. As a matter of simple math, that requires trillions in program cuts. Congressional Republicans have yet to disclose to the American people where these cuts will come from. But past Republican legislationbudgets, and litigation, along with recent statementsproposals, and budget plans, provide clear evidence that health care will be on the chopping block for severe cuts.

Virtually every Republican budget or fiscal plan over the last decade has included repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and deep cuts to Medicaid. That would mean: higher health care costs for Virginia families; ending critical protections for people with pre-existing conditions; nearly one million people losing health coverage and care in Virginia alone; and threats to health care for seniors and people with disabilities, including growing home care waiting lists and worse nursing home care.

Virginians deserve to see congressional Republicans’ full and detailed budget plan, including what it cuts from the ACA and Medicaid, Social Security and Medicare, and other critical programs, and should have the chance to compare it with the President’s budget plan, which he will release March 9.

ACA repeal would reverse Virginia’s progress getting more Virginians health insurance. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, monthly enrollment rates for Medicaid have increased over 110 percentage points—coverage gains that would surely be lost if the ACA and Medicaid expansion is eliminated.

More than 2,134,112 Virginians—about 24 percent of the state—rely on Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act for health coverage.

In total, over 967,940 Virginians’ health insurance coverage will be at risk from ACA repeal. This includes over 346,140 who have signed up for ACA marketplace coverage for 2023, and over 621,800 enrolled in Medicaid expansion coverage available due to the ACA.

At least 1,349,000 Virginians with pre-existing health conditions could lose critical protections. Before the ACA, at least 1,349,000 Virginians with pre-existing health conditions could be denied coverage or charged more if they tried to buy individual market health insurance. Republican repeal proposals either eliminate these protections outright or find other ways to gut them.

Over 741,982 Virginians could lose protection against catastrophic medical bills. Before the ACA, insurance plans were not required to limit enrollees’ total costs, and almost one in five people with employer coverage had no limit on out-of-pocket costs, meaning they were exposed to tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills if they became seriously ill.

About 1,166,172 Virginians with Medicaid could lose critical services, or could even lose coverage altogether, including over 928,317 children. Slashing federal funding for Medicaid will force states to make Medicaid eligibility changes that would make it harder to qualify for, and enroll in, Medicaid coverage. States would also likely consider capping or limiting enrollment.

Over 102,017 seniors and people with disabilities in Virginia could receive worse home care, with ballooning wait lists for those still in need. Under a block grant or per-capita cap, there would be fewer dollars available for home care services, an optional benefit in Medicaid. Faced with large federal funding cuts, states would almost certainly ration care. Virginia already has over 22,831 people on its home care wait lists so any additional cuts in federal funding will likely cause the state’s existing wait list to skyrocket.

Thousands of nursing home residents in Virginia would be at risk of lower quality of care. Over 60 percent of nursing home residents are covered by Medicaid. With large cuts in federal funding, states would be forced to cut nursing home rates to manage their costs, as many states have done during recessions. Research shows that when nursing homes are paid less, residents get worse care.

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