Picking up where we left off this morning on Mitch McConnell’s latest “unKynected” gibberish — that Kentucky can keep the ACA’s Medicaid expansion after ACA’s repeal, costing our state government approximately $450 million it wouldn’t have had to pay, otherwise — here are some figures on what Kentuckians who bought private healthcare insurance through Kynect would also lose.
First, we should start off by noting that the consumer protections in these private plans would all be gone without the ACA. Protections for people with pre-existing conditions, companies barred from dropping coverage after someone becomes sick, lifetime caps, women not paying more than men, children staying on their parents’ insurance until age 26 — these plans and protections would all be scrapped, as insurance companies would no longer have this mandate. Also gone would be the new Kentucky Health Cooperative, the nonprofit that exclusively sold plans through Kynect and made up 70 percent of private plans purchased through the exchange.
But even without taking that into account, what would Kentuckians lose in tax credits and subsidies under the ACA that help make to purchase of plans and payment of co-insurance more affordable?
According to the figures of the Kaiser Family Foundation in mid-April, the nearly 60,000 Kentuckians who purchased private insurance through Kynect and qualified for federal financial assistance are set to receive $153 million this year in premium subsidies to make their healthcare coverage more affordable. Even if those plans remained, the average enrollee is losing $2,568 to pay for their insurance.
These figures provided to LEO by the Beshear administration show what these subsidies have looked like so far this year, as Kentuckians have so far received nearly $53 million in tax credit subsidies (for premiums) and almost $6 million in cost-sharing reduction subsidies (going towards lower deductibles and co-payments those who bought silver level plans and are under a certain income):
Based on the rate of increase throughout 2014, it’s safe to assume that these figures will be close to what Kaiser estimated.
But without the Affordable Care Act, these subsidies to make private insurance affordable will be gone. Without the Affordable Care Act, the consumer protections under these plans would also be gone. Without the Affordable Care Act, the Medicaid coverage of roughly 300,000 Kentuckians under the expansion will be gone. Without the Affordable Care Act, Kentucky would need to pass a law to keep this expansion of Medicaid and would have to pay $450 million for it instead of $0 next year — which everyone knows would not happen.
Mitch McConnell may want to pretend that Kentucky can keep “Kynect” and the healthcare coverage of over 400,000 Kentuckians even if Obamacare is repealed, but that is just factually inaccurate. You either want to keep it and fix it where needed, or you want to repeal everything, root and branch, and start over from scratch. I understand that he doesn’t want Kentucky voters to realize he’s for completely gutting specific healthcare reforms that are quite popular, but that is nevertheless exactly what he’s advocating, and no amount of obfuscation is going to change that fact.