Repealing ObamaCare without a replacement risks making nearly 30 million people uninsured, according to a study released Wednesday. Separately, a professional group representing benefit advisers warned congressional leaders of the risk of "significant market disruption" that could cause millions of Americans to lose their health insurance. Republicans dismiss such dire scenarios, saying that they are working on replacement legislation for a President Trump to sign. Nonetheless, the complex two-stage strategy—repeal then replace—the GOP Congress is contemplating has raised concerns not only among supporters of the law, but also industries like hospitals and insurers, the AP reports.
The new study from the nonpartisan Urban Institute looks at a scenario where "repeal" goes through, but "replace" stalls. It predicts heavy collateral damage for people buying individual health insurance policies independent of government markets like HealthCare.gov. The study found that 22.5 million people would lose coverage directly due to repeal of the law's subsidies, Medicaid expansion, and its individual requirement to carry health insurance. Another 7.3 million would become uninsured because of the ripple effects of market upheavals. The number of uninsured people would rise to nearly 59 million in 2019, since the ACA did not completely eliminate the problem of people without coverage. As a result, the nation would have a higher uninsured rate than when the ACA passed in 2010, the study found.