Inslee and Kreidler ask Rep. McMorris Rodgers to oppose the AHCA

Governor Inslee and Insurance Commissioner Kreidler sent a letter to Representative McMorris Rodgers urging her to oppose the American Health Care Act.

“We are writing to express our very serious concerns about the devastating impact the House Republican Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal and replace legislation – the American Health Care Act (AHCA) – will have on the people of Washington State,” Inslee and Kreidler began.

1 in 4 Washingtonians have benefited from the ACA, through gained coverage or financial help. Inslee and Kreidler explain what they, and the state as a whole, have to lose if the AHCA is enacted.

Inslee and Kreidler argue that the AHCA will harm both Medicaid and the individual health insurance market.

Kreidler’s office released a series of charts showing the expected impact the AHCA would have on Washington.

An estimated 72,000 to 100,000 people currently enrolled would chose not to continue their coverage due to the repeal of the individual mandate penalties and the unaffordability of coverage. Young people, lower-income households, and rural areas would be affected the most. A rise in the uninsured rate would destabilize the market as healthy people leave the insurance pool, driving up costs.

Approximately 600,000 people will lose their Medicaid coverage unless the state can pick up a $1.3 billion tab in 2023. Inslee and Kreidler call this “an unrealistic amount to raise in the current fiscal climate.”

Members dropped from Medicaid would have their care interrupted, including at least 20,000 patients receiving cancer care and 30,000 patients receiving treatment for substance use disorders.

Long-term and support services for Washington’s elderly and disabled population will immediately lose $90 million in funding, a 6 percent cut. Select public health services will lose all federal funding.

Providers would see an increase in uncompensated care and hospitals would see rising charity care and bad debt.

“We urge you, in the strongest terms, to oppose the American Health Care Act,” Inslee and Kreidler write. “This ill-conceived legislation would have devastating consequences for the health and well-being of the people of our state; it would hurt our economy and cripple our state budget.”

Rep. McMorris Rodgers has expressed her support of the AHCA and wrote that the CBO report does not tell the whole story in a press release.

The press release, sent out two days before Inslee and Kreidler’s letter, says:

The CBO report confirms that House Republicans’ process to repeal and replace Obamacare will lower premiums and taxes, reduce the federal deficit, increase consumer choice, and reform Medicaid for the first time in its 52-year history. I hear the concerns people have about CBO’s projected coverage numbers. However, their score doesn’t tell the whole story. CBO doesn’t take into account future actions Congress and the Administration will take to further lower costs and increase coverage options. Our plan will open up the insurance market so more people can find plans they want at prices they can afford, while addressing the disconnect between coverage and access to care.

Representative Joe Schmick (R-Colfax) released a statement criticizing Inslee and Kreidler’s letter, calling their information “incomplete.” Rep. Schmick serves on the House Health Care Committee.