|Posted:||December 28, 2016 03:43 PM|
|From:||Representative Dan Frankel|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Establishing a Commission to Study the Impact of Repealing the Affordable Care Act|
|In the near future, I will introduce legislation establishing a commission to study the impact of federal repeal of the Affordable Care Act on Pennsylvania residents.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to as Obamacare, has resulted in more than 20 million Americans gaining access to quality and affordable health care coverage. While not perfect, the law has greatly improved the health insurance landscape across this country, including right here in Pennsylvania. Millions of Commonwealth residents have either gained coverage or have improved coverage under the law. The expansion of Medicaid alone under the ACA and the leadership of Governor Tom Wolf has resulted in over 600,000 residents gaining access to quality health care. In addition, the ACA has enabled young people to stay on their parents’ plans until the age of twenty-six, ensured preventive care is free, and has prevented insurance companies from denying coverage to people based on preexisting conditions – just to name a few of the act’s accomplishments.
Despite the many benefits of the ACA, President-elect Trump has repeatedly indicated his plans to repeal the law – putting not only the health care coverage of millions in jeopardy, but also devastating our state’s fiscal standing. ACA’s drug rebates, increased funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program and closing of the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug benefit “donut hole” have saved Pennsylvania roughly $700 million a year. Without ACA, the Commonwealth would need to come up with this funding from somewhere else – at a time we are already facing large and unsustainable budget shortfalls.
While I strongly oppose repealing ACA, I believe we should, at the very least, have a comprehensive dialogue of what repeal means for Pennsylvania. As such, my legislation will establish a commission comprised of gubernatorial and legislative appointees that will study the real world implications of ACA repeal on Commonwealth residents and our state’s fiscal bottom line. The Commission will offer recommendations for the General Assembly to consider should ACA be repealed and strategies to utilize moving forward. The Commission will have six months to study the many issues involved with repeal, hold public hearings, and report its findings to the General Assembly.
As a result of the ACA, the uninsured rate of the United States is at the lowest point in our nation’s history. Millions of hardworking men and women now have access to life-saving coverage they otherwise could not afford. Repealing ACA will have real and lasting effects on residents of this Commonwealth and should be studied accordingly. I urge all of my colleagues to co-sponsor this important legislation.
Introduced as HB476