Insurance Commissioner Kreidler: ‘the impact of Trumpcare on the state of Washington would be devastating…

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In a May 16 hearing organized by House Democrats, Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) and Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler discussed the impacts of Trumpcare, the Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, on Washington state.

Insurance Commissioner Kreidler opened by speaking to the benefits of the Affordable Care Act. “The state of Washington fully implemented the Affordable Care Act…we saw a decline in the number of people who were uninsured from 14 to 5.8 percent. The individual market is thriving in the state of Washington – we have more carriers in the individual market today than we did before the Affordable Care Act…150 plans and 13 insurers in the market. We are doing extremely well in the state of Washington.”

According to Kreidler, Washington state’s analysis found that “the impact of Trumpcare on the state of Washington would be devastating… The [rate of uninsured] would go from 5.8 to 15 percent – higher than it was before the Affordable Care Act… lower and middle income people in rural areas are hit the hardest. People under the age of 30 and those between 50-64 are hard hit. People earning about $30,000 are by far the ones that are most seriously impacted. 81% of the people the Medicaid expansion program are at the federal poverty level or lower – they are not going to go out and buy an individual policy, they can’t afford it. It means that they go uninsured and I am extremely worried about that.”

Larsen asked about the impacts of eliminating the individual mandate: “can you compare the ability of the individual mandate to keep or bring people in the pool versus the 30 percent tax that the Republican’s propose for folks who do not keep continuous coverage and the likelihood of success of a 30 percent tax versus the alternative?”

In response, Kreidler pointed out that Trumpcare’s penalty does not motivate individuals – especially younger, healthier individuals – to enter into the insurance pool. Trumpcare’s 30 percent penalty will only incentivize younger and healthier individuals to “sit it out and be prepared to pay the penalty once they become sick…you could see deterioration in the individual market as a result.”

“It follows that based on that analysis there would be more price pressure on seniors who, under the Republican plan, are already getting hit pretty hard,” said Larsen. Kriedler agreed: “Absolutely, you deteriorate the quality of the risk pool. You wind up with more sick people, less healthy people and insurance works pretty bad when you only have sick people in the market.”

Key provisions of Trumpcare include repealing the individual mandate, doing away with Affordable Care Act tax credits that low- and middle-income families rely on to afford health insurance, phasing out critical federal healthcare resources for states and repealing the taxes on wealthy Americans which currently finance the Affordable Care Act. The legislation also reduces the quality of healthcare by removing health insurance benefit requirements for some lower-income Americans, which could exacerbate the opioids crisis by leaving up to 1.3 million people without access to substance abuse services.

According to a report on Trumpcare from the Congressional Budget Office, 24 million fewer Americans would have health insurance over the next decade, average healthcare premiums would rise by 15-20% over the next two years and critical federal healthcare funding to states would be cut by $880 billion. Previous reports from the Joint Committee on Taxation show that Trumpcare will also provide a $600 billion tax break – primarily for the wealthiest Americans.


1 comment

  • Bill Ballard Sunday, 19 March 2017 13:07 Comment Link

    Ladies and Gentlemen of the San Juan Islander:

    Please consider sharing this article with your readers:

    I was surprised to learn there are 105 counties across the country and 7 in our state that have such limited access to the resources for reproductive health.

    Thank you for your serious consideration of my request.

    Please consider including this link along with the article

    Sincere regards,
    Bill Ballard

    The article is also below (I included only the Washington State counties):

    In these 105 counties, Planned Parenthood is the only full-service birth control clinic
    HHS Secretary Tom Price wanted to see a list of counties where Planned Parenthood is the only option for women who need subsidized birth control. Here’s that list.

    Updated by Emily Mar 17, 2017, 5:22pm EDT

    During a CNN Health Care Town Hall on Wednesday, co-host Dana Bash asked Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price about what would happen to the women who rely on Planned Parenthood for health care if the organization were to be defunded.

    Specifically, she asked about those who live in the 105 counties where Planned Parenthood is the only clinic that offers women the full range of contraceptive services.

    “Well, I’d be interested in the list you have,” Price replied.

    The list, it turns out, comes from data compiled by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, which did extensive research on so-called contraceptive deserts — areas where women in need have relatively limited access to publicly funded clinics that offer birth control. (Here’s a map of these areas, broken down by county.)

    Their research found that 3.1 million US women who need publicly funded contraception live in counties with zero publicly funded clinics that offer the full range of contraceptive methods, including longer-acting methods like IUDs that are the most effective at preventing pregnancy.

    The National Campaign shared with Vox the full list of 105 counties where Planned Parenthood is the only full-service reproductive health clinic:


    Chelan County
    Clallam County
    Kittitas County
    Okanogan County
    San Juan County
    Skagit County
    Whitman County


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