As congressional Republicans talk about repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor is trying to emphasize what his state stands to lose.
Gov. Tom Wolf and his Cabinet have little faith lawmakers will replace the ACA with anything better.
Roughly 700,000 Pennsylvanians are currently getting health care through the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion alone.
State Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller noted, it’s not a perfect system — particularly where the individual market is concerned.
“There are certainly improvements that could be made that would address the overall issue of rising health care costs” on the individual market, she said.
About 5 percent of Pennsylvanians are covered on the individual market. High costs in that sector are the main reason many Republicans — including President Trump — have labeled the ACA a “failing system.”
But state Human Services Secretary Ted Dallas said starting from scratch would be counterproductive.
“Why are we talking about getting rid of something that gives coverage to over a million Pennsylvanians without saying we have a plan?” Dallas said.
Rough replacements floated by Congress include health savings accounts, which are popular among Republicans, and other provisions.
Many opponents — including Dallas — note such changes wouldn’t really benefit the poor, who generally don’t have extra money to keep in savings.