The Brutal (and Fact-Checked) Numbers on Killing Obamacare

More than 23 million people could lose coverage. And the superrich will get a $197,000 tax cut.


Donald Trump and congressional Republicans emerged victorious in November thanks in part to their repeated denunciations of Obamacare. At a rally in July, Trump noted the efficacy of attacks on the Affordable Care Act: “One of the things that gets constantly…the biggest applause is a repeal and replacement of Obamacare.” Since the election, some Republican lawmakers have softened their stance a bit, suggesting that Obamacare may simply be “scaled back.” But there’s little doubt that they will still make a show of upholding their promise to chip away at, if not totally repeal, Obamacare. Trump, who once advocated universal health coverage, has said he will replace the existing plan with “something terrific,” though he has yet to offer a serious alternative.

Here’s another catch: While most Americans say they dislike Obamacare, they actually like most of its provisions. According to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll, every major part of the Affordable Care Act is exceedingly popular except for one—the imposition of fines for not having health coverage. This might explain why some Trump voters are reacting with alarm now that they realize some kind of ACA repeal looks likely.

If Obamacare is fully repealed, most Americans will see a modest tax cut, while tens of millions will face a loss of coverage or become uninsurable. And thousands could die from lack of access to medical care. As Obamacare slips back into critical condition, here’s a look at these and other consequences of its possible demise.

 

 

Sources

Map and uninsured rates: Department of Heath and Human Services, Urban Institute

Uninsured if fully repealed: ACASignups

Currently uninsured; uninsured if partially repealed: Urban Institute

Breakdown of future uninsured: ACASignups

Preexisting conditions: Kaiser Family Foundation

Premium increases: Congressional Budget Office

Estimated annual deaths: Urban Institute, Annals of Internal Medicine

Support for Obamacare repeal: Kaiser Family Foundation

Approval ratings for Obamacare provisions: Kaiser Family Foundation

Tax cuts for top 400: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

Tax cuts: Tax Policy Center

Job losses: Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, the Commonwealth Fund