BEYOND THE NUMBERS
Health Reform’s Success Grows; House Budget Chair Promises Repeal
A day after the Administration announced that 16.4 million uninsured people have gained coverage under health reform, lowering the uninsured rate from 20.3 percent all the way to 13.2 percent, the House Republican Budget Chairman unveiled a budget that would reverse this remarkable progress by repealing health reform, including its Medicaid expansion.
In the run-up to Supreme Court arguments in King v. Burwell, in which plaintiffs seek to invalidate subsidies for health coverage for people in 34 states using the federal marketplace, House and Senate Republicans said they had plans to maintain coverage for the 8 million people at risk of losing it should the plaintiffs prevail. Yet House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price’s budget plan would repeal health reform entirely.
Among other things, that means repealing the requirement that insurers allow young adults to stay on their parents’ health plans until they turn 26. That provision alone is responsible for 2.3 million of the 16.4 million coverage gain.
The Price plan’s vague statements about “starting over” on health reform and “expanding choices and flexibility” are empty promises for people who can’t afford health coverage without expanded Medicaid and subsidies. The Chairman’s budget eliminates the funding for their coverage, which would drive them back into the ranks of the uninsured.