One of the myriad things presidential contender Mitt Romney has pledged to do on day one of his presidency is to repeal the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature health care reform legislation, and replace it with “market drive” reforms. But a new study estimates that the effort would actually increase the number of uninsured Americans to 72 million and increase costs across the board.
The Commonwealth Fund report considered Romney’s proposal in full, including his plans to transform Medicare into a “premium support” structure and convert Medicaid into a block grant for the states. Romney would also “equalize the tax treatment of employer-based coverage and plans purchased in the individual insurance market,” allow insurance companies to circumvent state-based consumer protections to sell subprime plans “across state lines,” and push sicker Americans into expensive high-risk pools. The changes will make it harder for the 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions to find coverage.
As a result, 72 million Americans would be unable to obtain insurance — more than if the Affordable Care Act had not become law in the first place.