Health care repeal efforts are being pursued in both the Congress and in the courts. But are repeal proponents really standing up for consumers or are they actually standing up for the health insurance industry?
Talking points from each side often don't tell the whole story, so U.S. PIRG turned to the facts in our new report, The Cost of Repeal: Examining the Impact on Consumers and Small Businesses of Repealing the New Federal Health Care Law.
Using official research, data, and projections from independent sources, we found that repeal would have many costly consequences for consumers and small businesses. Here are a few of the major takeaways:
- In the absence of cost-saving reforms in the new law, the cost of employer-sponsored coverage will go up. If you get your coverage through your employer, you and your employer may have to shoulder3000 or more per year in per-employee health care costs by 2019.
- And for those who don't receive coverage through their employer, coverage rates for consumers on the individual market will see their rates increase by as much as 20% for the same coverage by 2019.
- Repeal would also strip four million small businesses of eligibility for health insurance tax credits, forcing their owners to pay the IRS40 billion in additional taxes more each year.
- What's more, repeal of the law would add to the deficit and cost the American economy between 2 million and 4.5 million jobs by the end of the decade.
When you put politics aside and you look at the evidence, the cost of repeal is the last thing we can afford right now.
That doesn't mean that the last year's health care law was perfect. But, right now members of Congress should be working to fix the parts of the law that don't work for consumers and small businesses, and building on the parts that do. They should take a good long look at bipartisan initiatives that would make the price of medical services more transparent for consumers, encourage lower cost generic drugs, and increase competition between insurers in the new state exchanges.
Instead, the House of Representatives is rushing headlong toward an outright repeal that would drive up costs and expose consumers to coverage denials and price discrimination. If their repeal bill eventually becomes law, it will be America's consumers and small businesses that pay the price.
Follow Larry McNeely on Twitter: www.twitter.com/HealthCarePIRG