A repeal of the Affordable Care Act could leave more than 230,000 Iowans, including 25,000 children under the age of 18, without health coverage. That’s according to the Iowa Policy Project. Peter Fisher is research director for the IPP. He says there are two ways the ACA expanded access to care in Iowa.
“About 70,000 people were covered by the Medicaid expansion, and another 47,000 received subsidies for their insurance when they purchased insurance on the exchange. So there are two ways that the ACA insured substantially more Iowans than were previously insured,” he explains.
It’s possible that more Iowans will be left without access to affordable health insurance if the Affordable Care Act is repealed than before the law took effect. Fisher says that’s because of the way the state expanded it’s Medicaid program.
“That’s because in 2013, before the exchanges were put in place, 70,000 people received insurance through the Iowa Care program. That was a Medicaid waiver program. That program no longer exists. If Medicaid expansion goes away, all those people who were on IowaCare are left without insurance. We’re actually going to lose ground here and actually end up with fewer people covered by health insurance,” he explains.
During this half hour of River to River, Fisher talks with host Ben Kieffer. Pete Damiano, director of the Public Policy Center at the University of Iowa, also joins the conversation.