Wisconsin Democrats held a teleconference Wednesday to introduce and discuss a new report from a non-profit organization on the potential economic effects of repealing the Affordable Care Act.
The report from Citizen Action of Wisconsin titled “The Financial Harm of the Republican Plan to Eliminate Health Care” addresses the potential severe consequences for Wisconsin’s doctors, hospitals and workforce if the ACA is repealed without replacement. The cuts would also be a costly price tag in the next state budget.
Robert Kraig, executive director of the non-profit that focuses on progressive social change, offered analysis of the statistics surrounding the report, including how 431,000 Wisconsinites would lose their health insurance.
“The numbers are startling. Over 430,000 people in Wisconsin would stand to lose health insurance coverage,” Kraig said. “[A repeal] would increase premiums by 25 percent immediately with a doubling by 2026.”
Additionally, community leaders and legislators discussed how the report outlined the possible impact on hospitals.
“Literally, it would cost doctors and hospitals in Wisconsin over $1 billion in 2019 alone,” Kraig said.
State Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, was also a part of the conference and weighed in on the Democrats’ economic concerns following a repeal.
“Wisconsin would not only be affected by significant numbers of people who are uninsured, there would be a disastrous impact on the economy as well,” Sargent said. “Wisconsin is in the midst of serious budget crisis, and this is going to continue to exacerbate this conversation.”
One of the serious concerns raised regarding eliminating health care is the impact it will have on small businesses in Wisconsin. Alice Thompson, a small business owner in southwest Wisconsin, is an example of someone who could be hurt by losing coverage.
“I will need to make some very real decisions about my health and my employees' health,” Thompson said.
According to Citizen Action of Wisconsin, the report is an important resource for policymakers and plays a vital role in the health care debate.
The report comes after Republicans pledged to make repealing ACA their top priority under President Donald Trump’s new administration. Republicans are in disagreement over how exactly to repeal ACA.