Memo To Gov. Outlines Impact Of American Health Care Act For Oklahomans

Wednesday, March 15th 2017, 6:27 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

An analysis prepared for Gov. Mary Fallin reveals more about what the proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) will mean for Oklahomans.  

The AHCA is the Republican's plan to replace Obamacare.

The three-page document was prepared by the state health officials and policy staff. It lays out the pros and cons of the AHCA for Oklahomans.  

Those like Donna Farrimond who has multiple sclerosis and is a recent colon cancer survivor. Her husband had a brain tumor. They said without Obamacare, they wouldn't be here. 

“Obamacare has saved our lives,” she said. 

So they're scared of what will happen without the Affordable Care Act. 

“We’ll be as we were before Obamacare: without insurance, failing and fading away,” she said.

The couple receives subsidies from the government to help make their premium's affordable, but under the AHCA, those subsidies, now based on income, would be replaced with tax credits based on age raising the costs of premiums for many.

The memo said "that could cause people on Medicaid to NOT go to work or earn more income because the cost of insurance would be unaffordable."

In addition, the report said fully eliminating cost sharing of out of pocket health expenses hurts Oklahoma where 60 percent of enrollees get help.  

The analysis also said the state would immediately lose $9.3 million in public health funding and the obligation of paying for Native American's healthcare would shift to the states.

But on the pro-side: the analysis said the plan should lower costs of health care for young people and the elimination of administration complications should allow for more types of plans to be offered. 

In a written statement, Fallin said:

This a significant first step to bring back patient-centered health care and provide affordable, quality health care. I look forward to seeing what will evolve from this proposal."