1 in 10 New Jerseyans Would Lose ACA Medicaid Coverage
On February 2, 2017, the Star-Ledger featured a guest op-ed column written by Senator Cory Booker, “Repealing ACA would be catastrophic to N.J. families.”
Senator Booker put a face on the potential devastating results of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA.)
“As a registered nurse from New Jersey, Claudia spent her entire life caring for patients. She too often witnessed those in need delayed or refused care simply because they couldn’t afford it. When Claudia retired and had to confront health challenges of her own and their accompanying costs, she almost became one of those patients herself.”
Patients who delay or refuse care risk their health and/or face catastrophic health expenses down the road.
But thanks to the Affordable Care Act, Claudia was able to access the lifesaving care she needed without fear that she would lose her life savings.
“The Affordable Care Act saved my life,” Claudia said recently, before also sharing that she was “terrified that our president and the Republican Congress could take my coverage away, without anything to replace it.”
If the ACA is repealed, Booker writes, “In New Jersey, nearly 800,000 residents, including 98,000 children, would lose their health coverage.”
The ACA has had far reaching impacts beyond just the number of residents who would receive health insurance.
“Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions more Americans can see the doctor when they’re sick without worrying about how to put food on the table. Millions more Americans can no longer be denied coverage because of their pre-existing conditions.”
For far too many low-income New Jerseyans and Americans, their reality in daily life is choosing between food and rent and basic and preventative health care – all essential for the lives of their families. Many individuals and families experiencing homelessness say that a health care crisis and/or a disability contributed to their spiral into homelessness.
“If the president and Congressional Republicans move forward with this reckless effort, millions of the poorest Americans who gained coverage through the ACA’s Medicaid expansion could lose their coverage — a repeal would mean 1 in 10 New Jerseyans lose their Medicaid coverage. And a repeal will mean that seniors and people with disabilities who rely on Medicare could once again be forced to go back to a time when they cut pills in half or skipped doses because of costly prescriptions.”
“The devastating consequences of a repeal cannot be overstated: more uninsured Americans, higher premiums for everyone, bigger bills for families and hospitals and untold economic chaos …”
“Claudia spent her whole life caring for others — we urge Congressional Republicans to summon a fraction of her empathy and compassion, and not endanger the health coverage of millions in pursuit of a repeal of the Affordable Care Act that Americans can’t afford.”