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Institute Staff

What an ACA Repeal Would Mean to Us

January 26, 2017

Given the recent news that Congress is acting quickly to repeal portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – sometimes called “Obamacare” – we want to take a moment to share with you the critical ways that the ACA has impacted the Institute for Family Health and other health centers across the nation:

Medicaid Expansion
The ACA increased Medicaid funding to states and enabled more individuals to qualify for coverage. The repeal of the ACA could result in 1.9 million New Yorkers losing Medicaid coverage.[1] Although we will continue to care for any individual who becomes uninsured, our financial losses will increase dramatically. Most importantly, these patients will likely lose coverage for hospital services and specialty care that the Institute does not provide.

Subsidies for Low & Moderate Income Individuals and Families
If Congress eliminates subsidies to help people with low and moderate incomes purchase health insurance, an estimated 2.7 million individuals will lose insurance in New York State.[1] We’ll continue to provide care to individuals without health insurance on a sliding-fee scale, but our reimbursements for the services we provide will drop and, at the same time, our patients will no longer have access to other health services.

Women’s Health Care Coverage
The ACA requires that insurance plans cover basic preventive services for women including annual well-woman visits and reproductive health care (inclusive of contraception).[2] If the ACA is modified or repealed, women’s access to health care will again be at risk, causing women to pay more for care, not be covered for essential women’s health services, or be denied coverage because of “preexisting conditions” such as a prior pregnancy, breast or cervical cancer, or receiving health care for domestic or sexual violence.[3,4]

Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education Program
The ACA funded the creation of “Teaching Health Centers,” that train primary care providers in health centers like ours to provide outstanding primary care to underserved communities. The Institute operates two Teaching Health Center programs: one in Kingston, NY and one in Harlem, together graduating 18 new primary care physicians annually. If Teaching Health Centers are eliminated, so will these critically needed programs that address the existing shortage of trained primary care physicians serving low-income areas.

Looking for ways you can help? Seek out reputable sources to educate yourself about the impacts of repeal of the ACA, contact your elected officials and share your thoughts, and provide financial support to safety net health care organizations like the Institute for Family Health that care for people regardless of their insurance status or their ability to pay.

References:

[1] Source: https://www.healthinsurance.org/new-york-medicaid/
[2] Source: http://kff.org/womens-health-policy/fact-sheet/preventive-services-for-women-covered-by-private-health-plans-under-the-affordable-care-act/
[3] Source: http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2016/aug/womens-health-coverage-since-aca
[4] Source: https://nwlc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/The-Risk-of-Repeal-FS-1.pdf