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Detailing the GOP Plans to Repeal, Replace ACA

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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Behavioral Health

Detailing the GOP Plans to Repeal, Replace ACA

December 16, 2016 | Federal Budget | Medicaid | Comments
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While Donald Trump will not be sworn in as President until January 20th, work in the 115th Congress will begin on January 3rd. Congressional leaders are expected to move quickly to repeal key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), giving President Trump the opportunity to sign legislation on his first day in office. The National Council needs its members to be active in the coming weeks and months, discussing with legislators what the repeal of provisions like Medicaid expansion would mean for their state and the communities they serve.

The process of “repeal and replace” is multifaceted and complicated. One aspect that is becoming abundantly clear is the plan to drastically reduce federal investment in Medicaid spending, shifting greater and greater cost responsibilities to states. Studies from the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimate a 14% cut in federal Medicaid spending over the next ten years. Such a plan would put already struggling state budgets in a near impossible situation of maintaining the level of care and access to treatment currently afforded under the ACA.

In short, enacting this plan to reduce federal investment in Medicaid will leave millions of Americans without access to needed health care treatment.

DO NOT REPEAL WITHOUT REPLACE

The National Council is joining a chorus of patient protection and advocacy organizations to promote the detailed release and enactment of a “replacement” plan before the passage of “repeal” legislation. Current plans from GOP leaders would repeal the ACA with a delayed effective date – as much as three years – allowing time for the creation and passage of a new health care plan. This proposal would likely lead to two drastic scenarios for consumers across the country:

  1. Insurers Back Out: The overall uncertainty of federal involvement in the health insurance market could lead many insurers to back out of the Marketplaces, resulting in of Americans millions with no viable option to purchase health insurance.
  2. More Spending Cuts to Come: Congressional budgetary restrictions could require additional spending cuts to enact the GOP replacement plan. This would likely lead to greater cuts to non-defense discretionary programs like public health, education, and infrastructure spending.

TAKE ACTION AND HELP PROTECT THE ACA

The National Council is calling on advocates to take action today to help protect the Affordable Care Act. Here are three steps for you to take:

  1. Book a meeting today: Meet with your legislators when they are home for the holidays and share with them why preserving the Affordable Care Act is vital to your organization and the consumers you serve. Download these template letters to get started.
  2. Download this fact sheet on ACA repeal in your state. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities created state-by-state fact sheets on the impact of ACA repeal. Download and print yours to use at your meeting.
  3. Create your own fact sheet about your organization. How many people do you serve? What treatment services do you offer? What impact do you have on your community? Demonstrate these important answers in a succinct fact sheet. Need help creating one? Click here for a template.