What 'repeal and replace' could mean for Pennsylvanians

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Supporters of the Affordable Care Act, who are also opponents of the Republican-led plan to undo Colorado's state-run insurance exchange, rally on the state Capitol steps in Denver.

If the debate in Washington over the future of Obamacare seems distant and abstract, a network of health foundations in Pennsylvania seeks to make it close and clear, at least statistically.

The Pennsylvania Health Funders Collaborative, which supports the Affordable Care Act, drills down to the local level, detailing the impact by county, hospital, and congressional district (the elected representatives who will decide the issue). 

If the ACA were to go away, here's how many residents would be affected, the group calculates:

  • 2.5 million: Number of Medicare beneficiaries in the state who could lose protection from high prescription drug costs (average savings: $1,053 a year)
  • 1 million: Number of residents who could lose health insurance (a combination of 679,718 covered by Medicaid expansion and 321,345 who receive premium subsidies for coverage purchased on the exchange)
  • $3.6 billion: Annual fiscal impact, primarily federal dollars from Medicaid expansion
  • 137,000: Projected loss of jobs
  • $2.7 billion: Net increase (7.1 percent) in hospital revenues for 2015, much of it from newly covered patients
  • 9.7 million: Number of residents who benefited from some part of the law

Interestingly, the hospitals in Southeastern Pennsylvania that benefited the most from the ACA – a combination of less bad debt and more patient revenue – were mainly not those typically thought of as safety net hospitals. They were specialty facilities, like Barix Clinics in Bucks County (net patient revenue up 10.7 percent from fiscal 2014 to fiscal 2015), Physicians Care Surgical Hospital in Montgomery County (up 27.2 percent), and Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia (up 37.3 percent).


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