ACA repeals could double nation's uninsured, cause loss of 2.6M jobs

Dive Brief:

  • The Commonwealth Fund released a report showing how repealing the Affordable Care Act will likely affect the economy and job totals in all 50 states. The report concludes that repealing the ACA could, on top of doubling the nation's uninsured, lead to a $140 billion loss in federal funds to the states and a loss of 2.6 million jobs nationwide by 2019.
  • Republicans are expected to repeal the law in phases, according to the report. Their first steps would be ending the insurance premium tax credit and the Medicaid expansion option — two measures aimed at helping low-income people pay for healthcare.
  • The report also concludes that, if the Republicans fail to come up with a replacement for the ACA, states could lose $1.5 trillion in gross products and the loss in productivity could cost $2.6 trillion. With just seven days into the 115th congressional session, Republican lawmakers have already declared their recommitment to repealing the ACA.

​Dive Insight:

The Commonwealth Fund report also projects that cutting out the Medicaid option means that care providers of low-income persons won’t be paid for their services. If the report’s projections are correct, repealing the ACA could have a disastrous economic domino effect on the country that might be worse than letting it stand as is or reforming its provisions.

With funding cuts, job losses are inevitable. Hospitals, for example, will be forced to lay off workers in fear of experiencing uncompensated care.

A pro-business Republican congress might help employers by reforming the portion of the ACA that requires burdensome tracking and reporting of workers to satisfy the law and meet the tax rule. As it stands, employers must collect and analyze all ACA data on employees, reporting 1094 and 1095 forms to the IRS and 1095 B and 1095 C, if applicable, to employees.

The penalties against employers for noncompliance could stand reforming, as well. The U.S. Congressional Budget Office estimates that employers could be liable for $31 billion in penalties for not abiding by the law.

Filed Under: Comp & Benefits Legal
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