Durbin: Repealing Health Care Would Be Detrimental To Hospitals And Rural Communities

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today called out congressional Republicans for their efforts to repeal health care without any replacement plan to protect all Americans’ access to quality health insurance, especially seniors and individuals with pre-existing conditions. In a speech on the Senate floor, Durbin described his meeting this week with administrators from hospitals across Central Illinois and how devastating repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would be to rural communities and health providers.  
“Yesterday, I called together the administrators of hospitals in Central Illinois, small town rural hospitals and larger hospitals. When I asked about the impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act, here is what they told me. Repeal without replacing the ACA would adversely impact patient access to care and hospital and health system’s ability to continue to provide services. They also said that repeal of the ACA would potentially result in job losses,” said Durbin. “They went on to say that Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, with the Republican repeal of Obamacare, could lose over $140 million over the next six years, and that uncompensated care cost would ‘rise dramatically due to both a rise in charity care and decline in Medicaid coverage and reimbursement.’ I sincerely hope that President Trump and Congressional Republicans heed the warnings of our physicians and hospitals, who are telling us not to repeal the Affordable Care Act in a hurried, political rush.”
Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor are available here.
Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.
Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available in high definition for TV Stations.
The Illinois Hospital Association estimates that repealing the ACA would result in losses of $11.6 to $13.1 billion in annual economic activity and 84,000 to 95,000 job losses throughout the state.
Repealing health care without replacement would mean 1.2 million people in Illinois would lose health insurance, including 650,000 newly eligible/enrolled in Medicaid. Critical Access Hospitals are heavily dependent on the Medicaid program, and repealing health care would mean the loss of $37.4 billion in federal Medicaid spending for Illinois between 2019 and 2028. Nationally, more than 20 million people have gained health insurance because of the ACA. In 2015, the uninsured rate fell below 10 percent for the first time in our nation’s history.
Last week, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report estimating that individual market premiums would increase by 20-25 percent in the first new plan year after a repeal of the ACA. This increase would reach about 50 percent after the Medicaid expansion and subsidies are eliminated. Individual market premiums would about double by 2026. The report also found that the number of people who are uninsured would increase by 18 million in the first new plan year following repeal. That number would increase to 32 million by 2026. In addition, the Urban Institute found that ACA repeal would cause uncompensated care costs to skyrocket by $1.1 trillion over 2019-2028, significantly burdening local and state budgets, as well as health care providers.