President Donal Trump made a statement over the weekend that a Republican lead replacement to the ACA is unlikely before late 2017 or early 2018. While House conservatives are demanding a swift repeal, we hope this announcement will signal permission to slow down and thoughtfully craft a replacement.
Looking at maps of Medicaid and ACA usage in Washington state, we see surprisingly that some of the counties with the highest rates of Medicaid usage are actually counties that voted strongly for President Trump. Adams County had one of the highest rates of uninsured individuals, around 23% in 2013, which has now dropped to 3.5%. Adams county is the highest utilizer of the Exchange, with 50% of citizens using "Obamacare" for their health coverage. 66% of Adams county voted for Trump. Republicans have expressed surprise at the amount of resistance to repeal, and these maps bring some clarity to this disconnect. A broadening of eligibility requirement from Medicaid Expansion helped over 600,000 people enroll for Apple Health. At least six Senate Republicans have said they won't vote for a repeal unless a replacement is ready that will keep the 20 million Americans covered nationwide by expansion insured. Health systems have warned of the financial and care crisis that would occur without a sufficient replacement that supports these lives.
Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers' congressional district is actually home to the highest percentage of new Medicaid recipients in Washington. BHT strongly encourages all of our partners to reach out to our representatives with any opinions or concerns around ACA repeal. As leaders dedicated to tackling health inequities in our state, we must give voice to the many impacts of the ACA that have provided life saving access to care to thousands of vulnerable individuals in our region.
Better Health Together hopes to help partners align around some key talking points as we all do independant advocacy work, to ring in a consistent and unified message from our region. Please take a few minutes to give feedback on the most impactful talking points by taking this survey.