Health coverage for 95,000 Mainers and improvements for businesses, consumers, and providers at risk
Augusta, Maine (Friday, January 20, 2017) The Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) today released a detailed analysis of the economic impacts of a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on Mainers.
The report, “Affordable Care Act Repeal Would Be a Disaster for Maine,” notes that ACA repeal would have far-reaching effects in Maine. Dismantling the individual health insurance market would cause 95,000 Mainers to lose health insurance. Those most at risk are older Mainers (aged 55-64) and young adults, who have signed up in large numbers for insurance through Healthcare.gov. Mainers living in rural areas are also more likely to lose coverage.
The report’s author, Policy Analyst James Myall, made the following statement:
“Taking health care away from 95,000 Mainers would have disastrous consequences. Repealing the ACA would make it harder for Maine to combat the opioid epidemic and undermine the ability of hospitals and other health care providers to deliver cost-effective care for all Mainers. We urge Maine’s congressional delegation to work to ensure that the ACA is strengthened, rather than repealed.”
MECEP’s report estimates significant economic impact from ACA repeal. The report estimates that uncompensated care costs for health care providers would triple, increasing by $475 million annually. These changes would undermine the financial health of Maine’s health care system and threaten health care employment.
According to MECEP’s analysis, Repeal would also harm Maine businesses and consumers. Under the ACA, average health insurance premiums for Maine employer-sponsored policies have gone from 13 percent above the national average in 2002 to parity in 2015. This has improved the competitiveness of Maine businesses relative to the rest of the nation. Maine consumers have also benefited from federal subsidies available through the health insurance marketplace to lower insurance premiums. Lost federal subsidies for individual health insurance plans would total $390 million in 2019.
ACA repeal would also end Maine’s opportunity to accept nearly $350 million for MaineCare coverage for low-income Mainers. This would shut Maine out of the opportunity 31 other states have already taken, and deprive Mainers of a services needed to battle the opioid epidemic.
Editors and reporters: if you would like to interview or speak with someone from MECEP about the report and our research on the Affordable Care Act in Maine, please contact James Myall at (207) 620-1103 or firstname.lastname@example.org.