The demand for uncompensated care, which includes unpaid debts, would surge 82% if the Affordable Care Act were to be repealed in 2019, according to a report released this month.
As the Justice Department fights to repeal the law, the potential impact of such a decision would send the number of uninsured individuals skyrocketing, and place a tremendous financial burden on hospitals and healthcare facilities.
A full repeal of the ACA would result in about 20 million individuals losing their health insurance, according to the study, which was conducted by The Urban Institute. That would lead to an increase of $50 billion in requests for uncompensated care, a figure that is 82% higher than compared with current levels.
“These shifts would decrease revenue for health care providers; increase the financial burdens associated with uncompensated care; and increase the medical financial burdens for families, particularly those with low and middle incomes, who are the chief beneficiaries of ACA benefits,” the report concludes. “Thus, invalidating the entire ACA would cause considerable harm, even compared with the ACA as restructured by recent policy changes.”
Demand for uncompensated care would more than double in 26 states across the country, and only three states — Alabama, Idaho, and Mississippi — would see increases in the amount of uncompensated care of less than 30% from current levels.
The number of individuals without insurance would climb to 19%, from 11% currently.