Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz issued the following statement on the House of Representatives’ Passage of the American Health Care Act:
“Today’s vote by a bare majority of House Republicans, including Congressmen Chris Collins, to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with the American Health Care Act (AHCA) will have a devastating impact on tens of thousands of Erie County residents and will eventually cost county taxpayers more money.
Because of the ACA’s Medicaid expansion there are 45,212 more people covered by Medicaid today than in 2013, prior to the passage of the ACA (284,026 enrollees in 2016 compared to 238,814 in 2013).
Additionally, due to federal subsidies the County receives from the ACA, the County’s portion of Medicaid is actually $17,052,744 less than it was in 2013 ($200,827,664 in 2016 compared to $217,880,408 in 2013).
According to published reports, under the bill passed today, the expansion of Medicaid is to be phased out by 2020, meaning tens of thousands of our neighbors will lose their health care and it will cost the county more money to cover less individuals.
Additionally, with the changes passed today, those with pre-existing conditions are at risk to lose their coverage in the future, and those suffering from mental health issues (including addiction) or with disabilities could see decreased coverage due to cuts to Medicaid.
The ACA did what it set out to do in Erie County – tens of thousands of our fellow citizens now have health insurance than before – and with today’s passage of the AHCA all of those people’s future health care is at risk and the County may pay much more. That is unacceptable.
I call on Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to work with their senate colleagues to reject the ill-advised bill. Tens of thousands of people in Erie County are counting on them and their colleagues in the Senate to do the right thing.”