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Repealing Obamacare Could Jeopardize Health Care for 1 Million Ohioans

A new report by Ohio Policy Matters estimates that repealing Obamacare could jeopardize the medical coverage of 1 million Ohioans

A new report by Ohio Policy Matters estimates that repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, without offering a substitute measure could jeopardize the medical coverage of a million Ohioans and deal a large financial blow to Ohio healthcare services.

The report estimates that 700,000 Ohioans currently have insurance via the state's Medicaid expansion. Another 212,000 have health care through the ACA marketplace.

Wendy Patton with Ohio Policy Matters says if this population were to suddenly lose their insurance, state hospitals could be saddled with $15 billion dollars in additional costs for treating the uninsured.

"The outcomes of the Affordable Care Act, the Medicaid expansion, have been strengthening our health and hospital systems, particularly in our rural counties," Patton says.

The report also states that Ohio would lose $3.5 billion dollars in federal funding - money that would then have to come out of the state budget. By 2028, those losses could grow to more than $42 billion.

Greg Larson with the Buckeye Institute says repealing the Affordable Care Act is necessary, but as Republican lawmakers have suggested, it must be replaced with something else.

"Obviously there must be a replacement, because there's a reason we got Obamacare in the first place... Things weren't working," Larson says.

Larson says allowing more competition into the existing insurance market could improve the variety of health care plans available. In order to achieve this, he believes the healthcare exchange will likely change from a state-based program to a national program.

"We have to figure out, how do we get... the best quality for the most people at the most affordable price that doesn't put individuals in bankruptcy and that doesn't put governments overtime in bankruptcy," Larson says.