More than 2.7 million New Yorkers would lose health coverage, including about 92,000 residents of Westchester County, if the Affordable Care Act were repealed, according to numbers released by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office on Wednesday.
“The cost of a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, to state and local budgets and to the New Yorkers who depend on its health care coverage, is simply too high to justify,” Cuomo said. “Since its implementation, the Affordable Care Act has become a powerful tool to lower the cost of health insurance for local governments and New Yorkers, and it is essential that the federal government does not jeopardize the health and livelihoods of millions of working families.”
The announcement from the governor defends President Barack Obama’s signature health care policy as a Republican-controlled Congress and incoming presidential adminstration appear determined to repeal it. President-elect Donald Trump has promised to “repeal and replace” the ACA, also referred to as Obamacare, throughout his campaign. Republicans in Congress already passed a bill last year for the law’s repeal that President Barack Obama vetoed.
Cuomo says the repeal of the law would have a $3.7 billion impact on the state’s budget and result in the loss of almost $600 million in direct federal funding to counties in the state.
In Westchester, 91,884 people would lose coverage, about 9.4 percent of the county’s population by 2015 Census estimates. The county would lose about $15 million in federal Medicaid funding as well, according to state estimates.
Other top New York officials have gone to bat for Obamacare as well. On Wednesday, Sen. Charles Schumer, the top Democrat in Congress as minority leader, said Trump and the GOP would “make America sick again,” a play on Trump’s “Make America Great Again” election campaign tagline.
“Republicans are plotting, and soon will be executing a full-scale assault on the three pillars that support the American health care system,” Schumer said in a press conference Wednesday. “The Affordable Care Act, Medicare and Medicaid. The Republican plan to cut health care wouldn’t ‘Make America Great Again.’ It would make America sick again and lead to chaos instead of affordable care.”
Vice President-elect Mike Pence said at a press conference Wednesday that repealing and replacing Obamacare was the “first order of business” for Congress and the new administration.
Trump, meanwhile, fired back on Twitter this morning, calling Schumer the “head clown,” while also calling for Democrats and Republican to work together for a replacement to Obamacare. A day earlier he used his Twitter account to point out rising premiums under the law, including by 116 percent in Arizona.
“The Democrats, lead by head clown Chuck Schumer, know how bad ObamaCare is and what a mess they are in,” Trump wrote in a series of tweets Thursday morning. “Instead of working to fix it, they do the typical political thing and BLAME. The fact is ObamaCare was a lie from the beginning. ‘Keep your doctor, keep your plan!’ It is time for Republicans & Democrats to get together and come up with a healthcare plan that really works – much less expensive & FAR BETTER!”
Here’s how Cuomo’s office estimates the repeal of the Affordable Care Act would affect the mid-Hudson region:
Dutchess: 25,074 at risk of losing coverage | Potential loss of $2,974,044 in federal funding
Putnam: 7,006 at risk of losing coverage | Potential loss of $561,094 in federal funding
Orange: 37,381 at risk of losing coverage | Potential loss of $5,021,173 in federal funding
Rockland: 38,526 at risk of losing coverage | Potential loss of $3,867,080 in federal funding
Sullivan: 9,668 at risk of losing coverage | Potential loss of $1,439,822 in federal funding
Ulster: 19,850 at risk of losing coverage | Potential loss of $2,935,566 in federal funding
Westchester: 91,844 at risk of losing coverage | Potential loss of $15,243,258 in federal funding