A Repeal of ACA Will Harm Children and Families in Unprecedented Ways

Urban Institute report shows ACA repeal would increase ranks of California uninsured by nearly 5 million

For Immediate Release
Friday, December 9, 2016

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Urban Institute released a new report that looks at the implications of a partial repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and makes clear what is at stake for California children and families. If Congress moves forward with its intent to repeal the ACA without an immediate, responsible, and sustainable replacement, the number of uninsured children would more than double, from 4% to 9% nationwide, and the health of millions of Americans would be in jeopardy.

Congressional leaders have announced that their first order of business in the new Congress is to pass a reconciliation bill modeled after the 2015 reconciliation bill that repeals the ACA without a replacement plan. In California, Congress' inability to negotiate an agreement on a replacement of the ACA increases the vulnerability of programs like Medi-Cal that provide coverage to more than half of all California children. According to the report, nearly five million people would lose coverage, and California would lose $160 billion in federal funding over a ten-year period.

"Our elected leaders in Washington have an obligation to put forth polices that are in the best interest of American children and families. Any action on the ACA should put children above politics and protect the quality and affordable coverage available to millions of children and families," said Mayra E. Alvarez, President, The Children's Partnership.

Repeal of the ACA could also create chaos in California's health care system and wreak havoc on the state budget. The loss of federal funding to meet the health needs of California residents would leave many with fewer health care options, threatening their well-being and their ability to contribute in school, to their workplaces and communities.

"Children are our most valuable national resource, literally our future. Healthy children do better in school and in life. At a time when health coverage for children is at a record high, we should be looking to finish the job. Instead our nation's newly elected leaders appear to moving in the opposite direction. Any repeal of current coverage and protections must not occur until it can be demonstrated that no child would be worse off for any period of time." stated Alison Buist, Child Health Director at the Children's Defense Fund.

"California has made incredible progress in ensuring that our children and families have access to health care. We can't afford to go backwards and risk the loss of coverage for half a million kids in our state," says Kelly Hardy, Senior Managing Director of Health Policy at Children Now.

The ACA is working for millions of children and families. Nationally, over 95 percent of children are covered with quality, affordable health coverage because of expansions in coverage made possible through health insurance marketplaces and the expansion of Medicaid and CHIP.

To read the full analysis visit: http://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/publication/86236/2001013-the-implications-of-partial-repeal-of-the-aca-through-reconciliatio.pdf.

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The Children's Health Coverage Coalition is comprised of California Coverage & Health Initiatives, Children Now, Children's Defense Fund-California, PICO California, The Children's Partnership, and United Ways of California. Follow the Coalition on Twitter at @KidsHealthCA

Media Contact:

Jessica Fernandez
The Children's Partnership
jfernandez@childrenspartnership.org
(714) 423-1600