Trump-backed ACA repeal unwise for Pa., DePasquale says

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale  (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

President Donald Trump and other GOP officials have recently rekindled their opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

Trump has suggested a replacement plan may come after the 2020 election. So, the state Auditor General’s office called a press conference Tuesday to point out the program’s influence on certain Pennsylvanians.

Using data from the state Insurance Department, Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said that north of 1.1 million people in Pennsylvania can attribute their healthcare to the ACA.

The Democrat noted, the program also lowered uncompensated emergency room costs. Hospitals are often a last-resort for uninsured people.

“The ACA has resulted in savings of about $281 million annually in uncompensated care costs in Pennsylvania,” DePasquale said.

He called several speakers. One was Erin Gabriel, a child disability advocate who testified that before the ACA, her daughter was uninsurable and she lived in fear of hitting her lifetime insurance cap.

“Preexisting conditions? Abby’s probably got fifteen of them. She’s not insurable without the ACA,” Gabriel said.

Many Republicans, and Trump, argue the ACA has inflated premiums and been a net negative.

The Justice Department told a federal appeals court it believes the whole law should be invalid.

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