Kenney: ACA repeal would leave 200,000 in Philly uninsured

Mayor Kenney joined a chorus of local officials who say repealing the Affordable Care Act without replacement would have a devastating impact, particularly on Philadelphia residents.

Kenney and city controller Alan Butkovitz sent a joint letter to the three congressmen and two senators representing Philadelphia, Monday, saying more than 220,000 Philadelphians would lose their health insurance if the Affordable Care Act is repealed without an appropriate replacement.

“More than 20 percent of our population between the ages of 18 and 64 would be directly impacted,” the letter reads.  “While the direct impact is evident the indirect effect would also mean a loss of hundreds of millions of dollars through Medicaid expansion.”

According to health department figures, 166,000 people  have health insurance through the ACA Medicaid Expansion and 59,000  are covered through the ACA’s insurance exchange. Those numbers do not include people who are able to stay on their parent’s insurance until age 26.

Kenney said the impact would be “intensified” in Philadelphia because of the city’s high poverty rate and opioid addiction. “I urge our delegation to fight for healthcare legislation that moves us forward, not back,” Kenney said.

Since Obamacare’s passage, Philadelphia has received more Medicaid dollars through the ACA, money that goes to community organizations and substance abuse services for half a million Philadelphia Medicaid recipients, the letter read.

This month, the city’s health department compiled a report on how a repeal would affect Philadelphia.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted last week that repeal would double the state budget deficit and mean the loss of 137,000 jobs.

Last week, top Pennsylvania officials said the consequences of a repeal would be “disastrous." Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said 670,000 Pennsylvanians would lose their health insurance as well as 400,000 more who signed up through an insurance exchange.

Staff writer Chris Brennan contributed to this report.

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