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Trump-Backed Healthcare Repeal Lawsuit Would Devastate Rhode Islanders

(From Community Catalyst)

President Trump is trying to rip away our health care by going to court to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. If the lawsuit is successful, it will strip coverage from millions of Americans, raise premiums, end protections for people with pre-existing conditions, put insurance companies back in charge, and force seniors to pay more for prescription drugs. The result will be to — as the Trump Administration itself admitted in court — unleash “ chaos ” in our entire health care system.

If the healthcare repeal lawsuit succeeds:

67,000 Rhode Islanders Would Lose Their Coverage:

  • According to the Urban Institute, 67,000 Rhode Islanders would lose coverage by repealing the Affordable Care Act, leading to a 116% increase in the uninsured rate.
  • 8,000 Rhode Island young adults with their parents’ coverage could lose care. Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions of young adults are able to stay on their parents’ care until age 26.

Insurance Companies Would Be Put Back In Charge, ending protections for people nationwide with a pre-existing condition.  According to a recent analysis by the Center for American Progress, roughly half of non-elderly Americans, or as many as 130 million people, have a pre-existing condition. Including:

  • 443,900 Rhode Islanders, including 50,800 Rhode Island children , 218,000 Rhode Island women , and 110,100 Rhode Islanders between ages 55 and 64.

Insurance Companies Would Have The Power To Charge You More:

  • 484,193 Rhode Islanders could once again have to pay for preventive care. Because of the ACA, health plans must cover preventive services — like flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception, and mammograms – at no cost to consumers.

  • Women could be charged more than men for the same coverage. Prior to the ACA, women were often charged premiums on the nongroup market of up to 50% higher than men for the same coverage.

  • People over the age of 50 could face an “Age Tax.”  Because Judge O’Connor sided with Republican lawmakers, insurance companies would be able to charge people over 50 more than younger people. The Affordable Care Act limited the amount older people could be charged to three times more than younger people. If insurers were to charge five times more, as was proposed in the Republican repeal bills, that would add an average “age tax” of $2,690 in Rhode Island for a 60-year-old in the individual market, according to the AARP.

  • 26,500 Rhode Islanders in the HSRI marketplace would pay more for coverage. If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, consumers would no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums.

  • 14,990 Rhode Island seniors could have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole would be reopened. From 2010 to 2016, more than 14,990 Rhode Island seniors each saved an average of $1,004.

Insurance companies would have the power to limit the care you get, even if you have insurance through your employer:

  • The Affordable Care Act made comprehensive coverage more available by requiring insurance companies to include “essential health benefits” in their plans, such as maternity care, hospitalization, substance abuse care and prescription drug coverage. Before the ACA, people had to pay extra for separate coverage for these benefits. For example, in 2013, 75 percent of non-group plans did not cover maternity care, 45 percent did not cover substance abuse disorder services, and 38 percent did not cover mental health services. Six percent did not even cover generic drugs.

  • Repealing the Affordable Care Act means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage for those insured through their employer or on the individual market.

Medicaid Expansion could be repealed — 74,000 Rhode Islanders enrolled through Medicaid expansion could lose coverage.


HELP! SHARE YOUR ACA or MEDICAID STORY or help a family member or friend to share theirs. Your story will help demonstrate that the ACA and Medicaid Expansion is a step forward in achieving coverage for all. Scroll down this page for a helpful form.

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Get the Facts

Here’s a picture about Medicaid coverage in Rhode Island:

Learn more here

Current FEDERAL PRIORITIES that the Protect Our Healthcare Coalition is working on include:

  • Support for the RI Attorney General & U.S. House of Representatives in their defense of the ACA in Federal Court (Texas v. Azar).
  • Support the Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions and Making Health Care More Affordable Act of 2019 (HR986)).
  • Support Strengthening Health Care & Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act. (HR987)
  • Support Lower Health Care Costs Act (S1895).
  • Support legislation to re-establish a Federal ACA Reinsurance program.
  • Oppose federal Medicaid rule making that allows states to impose work requirements and other limits on Medicaid eligibility.
  • Oppose changes to federal public charge rules related to basic health & nutrition assistance for immigrant families.

What’s What in the Health Care Debate! 

We strongly support the Affordable Care Act and appreciate what it has done to advance our healthcare system. But we know that to achieve health care for all we need more systemic change. We must shift the debate about health care forward, providing a platform for more open and honest dialogue.

If we all stay engaged, we can move our nation forward towards universal health care as a right.

There are many good, progressive voices in the debate.  Below are a few links to the thoughts and ideas of those with deep experience in either or both politics and policy who share a common vision for health care for all but may share differing views on how to get there.



Providence Journal: Op Ed ACA Has Been Boon for Rhode Island

Providence Journal: Protect Our Healthcare Coalition denounces Texas court ACA ruling

Op Ed in support of the RI Market Stability and Consumer Protection Act

Op-Ed by Coalition Chair Linda Katz & Coordinator Karen Malcolm on ProJo coverage of impact of ACA Repeal on Rhode Islanders.

Report: What You Should Know About the ACA & Medicaid in Rhode Island


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