As to be expected, the new administration is already starting to unwind Obamacare and it won’t be long before the Republican Party starts the legislative process of repealing the health law with a majority vote. Experts believe that the Trump administration has a long way to go before it can achieve what it has set out to do. However, this has not prevented millions of Americans from panicking.
A large chunk of the United States population relies on Obamacare to help pay for vital medical treatments that cost thousands of dollars every month.
If the health law is repealed, the rate of uninsured individuals would double in the year 2019. According to a report made by Urban Institute, close to 59 million people will be without coverage, increasing the uninsured rate by 103%.
Americans, even those who voted for Trump, are beginning to realize the consequences of repealing Obamacare. It is particularly scary for those who require life-saving treatments as repealing the law could put them in a very precarious situation.
The Kaiser Family Foundation, for example, found that the percentage of Republicans who want the ACA to be repealed has dropped from 69% to 52% since the election. Furthermore, the Foundation also found that about 30% of American adults under the age of 65 have medical conditions that would have prevented them from getting coverage before the ACA, while more than half say that either they or a member of their family has a pre-existing medical condition.
Pamela Gross, who lives in Santa Barbara, California, is one of those Americans diagnosed with chronic lupus and her treatment costs over $5,000 every month.
Although her disability gives her access to Medicare, she also depends on the state’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, to help pay for treatment costs that are not covered by Medicare.
Gross did not have insurance before Obamacare. However, when she received a Supplemental Security income, she could have lost her eligibility for Medi-Cal coverage which pays for co-pays and insurance premiums. Without it, she would not have the means to pay for an individual insurance policy. Her doctor told her that without medications and proper medical monitoring, she won’t be able to make it.
Fortunately, Obamacare expanded Medicaid eligibility and raised the income limits of the program so the cost of living increase she gets from her SSI is no longer a concern. But if Obamacare gets repealed, then Medicaid expansion will also be eliminated. If this happens, Gross fears she will lose eligibility and even her life.