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CA Department of Insurance

Commissioner Jones urges Congress not to repeal ACA because 20 Million Americans will lose health insurance

News: 2017 Press Release

For Release: January 13, 2017
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Commissioner Jones urges Congress not to repeal ACA because 20 Million Americans will lose health insurance
Repeal of ACA also adds trillions to deficit

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Commissioner Jones sent a detailed letter to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in response to McCarthy's request for Commissioner Jones' views regarding the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Jones urged Congress not to repeal the ACA. Jones noted that the ACA has reduced the percentage of Americans and Californians who are uninsured by half. Thanks to the ACA, America has the lowest level of uninsured in our nation's history. Americans also enjoy more consumer protections and benefits thanks to the ACA. Insurers cannot deny insurance due to pre-existing conditions, nor can they impose lifetime or annual benefit caps,under the ACA. 

Additionally,reports indicating that the Senate budget resolution to repeal the ACA would increase the public debt from $14.2 trillion in 2016 to $23.7 trillion in 2026 that rely upon an Office of Management and Budget analysis should be reviewed.

Highlights from Jones' letter:

"Repeal of the ACA, without a specific plan to ensure that every American who today enjoys affordable, quality, comprehensive health insurance coverage will continue to have such coverage, is an irresponsible act that will deprive tens of millions of Americans of their financial security and will even cost some of them their lives," stated Commissioner Jones.

"Passage of the Affordable Care Act was one of the most significant legislative acts in the last fifty years, and it cannot be overstated how far-reaching the negative impacts of repealing it would be to the health and financial security of Americans. Thanks to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, we currently have the lowest percentage of uninsured Americans in our nation's history," stated Commissioner Jones.

"Approximately five million Californians and 20 million Americans have health insurance coverage they would not have, but for the Affordable Care Act," stated Commissioner Jones. "Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 91 percent of Californians are now insured."

"Repeal of the ACA would expose Californians, including those who receive health insurance coverage through their employer, to the specter of medical bankruptcy, as annual and lifetime limits would again be imposed on their insurance coverage," stated Commissioner Jones.

"The repeal of the ACA would return Californians and our country to a disgraceful past, where people who need health insurance the most, people with pre-existing conditions, would be denied coverage, or charged unaffordable premiums, simply because of their health history," stated Commissioner Jones.

"Californians and all Americans must not be forced back to a time before the ACA when health insurance could be denied based on pre-existing conditions, policies were rescinded when people fell ill, benefit packages failed to cover many essential health benefits, and there were annual and lifetime limits on coverage. Before the Affordable Care Act, health insurers could prevent people from having coverage when they needed it most. Repeal of the ACA is the return to a time when the shadow of financial catastrophe loomed over every family."

Jones also detailed the deficiencies of the Congressional leadership's replacement plan, which will leave 20 million Americans without health insurance.

"The Republican leadership in Congress is poised to deny 20 million Americans their health insurance," said Jones. "Repeal and replace will mean death and despair for Americans, thanks to the Republican led Congress." 

A full text of Commissioner Jones' letter to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy can be found here.

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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