Health care providers face a staggering loss of revenue if Republicans repeal Obamacare as promised, according to an Urban Institute report released Thursday.
The report found that health care spending by public and private health insurers would decline by $1.7 trillion between 2019 and 2028 if the health care legislation is repealed.
The Urban Institute report assumed that the Obamacare repeal measure in the new Congress will be similar to the one passed by both houses of Congress and vetoed last year by President Obama.
Like other health care policy experts, Urban Institute researchers determined Obamacare repeal would cause the private individual health insurance market to unravel as healthy people are freed of the ACA’s individual mandate to obtain insurance and drop their plans, leaving a sicker pool of customers that would drive up premiums. The report predicts that repeal will create an additional 29.8 million uninsured people.
The newly uninsured will be less likely to seek medical care, according to the report, but when they do will be increasingly reliant on what’s known as uncompensated care, which is financed by government entities and providers offering free or reduced-price care. Yet federal funding for uncompensated care through Medicaid is not expected to increase substantially in the repeal bill still to be put forth by the GOP-controlled Congress. This forces providers, which will already be losing billions of dollars in revenue per year by the Urban Institute’s projections, to carry the additional financial burden of offering care to the uninsured.
The report found that insurer and household spending on hospital and physician care would drop by $59.1 billion and $20 billion respectively in 2019 alone, putting health care providers in a difficult financial fix.
Major health care groups like the American Medical Association are urging Congress not to move forward with their plan for repealing Obamacare until a clear replacement plan is in place.