Howard Comments on Impact of ACA Repeal Bill on NJ

Monday, May 8, 2017
by Don Sapatkin

New Jersey and Pennsylvania could be among the biggest losers in the Affordable Care Act replacement plan that squeaked through the House on Thursday, policy experts said, and for reasons that have gotten little public attention.

One example: Both states devote more of their Medicaid spending to seniors and disabled people combined than almost anyplace else in the country. Care for these groups is especially costly, and the GOP plan would not keep pace with their needs. So the states could be forced to cut benefits or raise taxes to maintain services that many people do not consider optional.

Health insurance premiums for people with preexisting conditions also could rise more in Pennsylvania than nationally, said Antoinette Kraus, executive director of the Pennsylvania Health Access Network. A key compromise that led some of the most conservative Republicans to support the American Health Care Act is an optional waiver that allows states to let insurers charge sick applicants more than healthy ones.

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