If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, 30 million people — including many South Floridians — will lose coverage. The insurance market will collapse. Without premium subsidies, millions will become unable to afford insurance, leaving only those with severe medical necessity in a high-risk pool. Premiums will skyrocket for everyone else who enters the market.
To reduce premiums, insurance companies will “race to the bottom.” Without minimum benefit requirements, plans will become skimpier, and basic health services will no longer be covered. Protections for women and people with pre-existing conditions will be lost, and they will again be charged higher premiums, if they are not denied coverage outright. Bankruptcy from hospital bills, presumed a horror of the past, will once again become reality.
Americans deserve a precise replacement plan, which lawmakers should give them first, before repealing ACA. Any replacement must ensure, at the very least the same coverage, with the same benefits, for the same number of people, at the same or lower cost.
Jillian Irwin, MD/MPH candidate, class of 2017, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami