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Nation will suffer if Obamacare not replaced

February 22, 2017

By Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi

Published in the Daily Herald

Repealing without simultaneously replacing the Affordable Care Act is still being seriously considered by influential House Republicans. Unfortunately, repealing the ACA without replacing it threatens not only the health of millions of American families, but also the health of the entire U.S. economy.

Health care experts have highlighted the human costs of repeal, such as re-enabling discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, permitting lifetime coverage caps, and stripping 30 million Americans of their access to health care.

In the face of this human toll, many assume repealing the ACA must carry economic benefits. But that is simply not true. Repealing the ACA would not only strip one in 10 Americans of their health care, it could initiate an economic catastrophe.

Before I was sworn into the U.S. Congress in January, I served as president of small, high-tech businesses in the Chicago area. My business experience fundamentally informs my analysis of the Republican plan to repeal the ACA and the devastating impact it would have on our economy.

The health care sector makes up nearly a fifth of our economy because of its relationship to nearly every other part of our economy. An independent study recently published by George Washington University found that repealing the ACA would destroy nearly a million jobs in the health care sector in its first year alone. Another 1.8 million jobs would be lost in other industries, and our nation's gross domestic product would drop by $1.5 trillion.

In Illinois, alone, repealing the ACA without replacing it could destroy 100,000 jobs and $13 billion in economic activity. Along the way, one million Illinoisans would lose their health care.

Working and middle-class families need good-paying jobs and affordable health care. Repealing the Affordable Care Act without replacing it would rob them of both.