ACA repeal would impact 102M people with pre-existing conditions

Document titled, Affordable Care Act
Cardiovascular disease and mental health conditions are the most common pre-existing conditions, according to an Avalere analysis. (Getty/Designer491)

More than 100 million people with pre-existing conditions could be facing an uncertain future if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, a new analysis concludes.

More than half of Americans that aren’t enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid have pre-existing conditions that could lead to medical underwriting or denied coverage if protections within the ACA are repealed, according to an Avalere analysis released on Tuesday. All told, 102 million people would be at risk due to a pre-existing condition.

“Virtually every American has someone with an existing health condition in their family at any given time,” Dan Mendelson, founder of Avalere said in a statement. “This is why Americans are so concerned with the issue, and why they expect durable, bipartisan solutions that maintain and strengthen healthcare security.”

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The report comes shortly after Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said he would lead another repeal effort “if we had the votes to completely start over,” a nod to the coming midterm elections. Meanwhile, several candidates, and President Trump himself, have said they support protections for pre-existing conditions, even as 20 GOP attorneys general have sued to tear down the law.

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Avalere’s analysis identified pre-existing conditions using three-digit ICD-9 codes pulled from the 2015 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Nearly 57 million people have a cardiovascular disease that would classify as a pre-existing condition. More than 28 million have a mental health disorder and 19.7 million are considered obese.

Trump’s top healthcare cabinet members, including Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma, have vowed to protect people pre-existing conditions. But the administration has also pushed short-term and association health plans that skirt those ACA-mandated protections.

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