Press Release

U.S. Rep. Castor: Trump Administration & GOP Lawsuit Threatens to Destroy Affordable Health Care Coverage for Millions of Floridians & Americans

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Washington, July 9, 2019 | comments
Today Republicans, with the unfortunate support of our own State of Florida, pressed in court to destroy affordable health care coverage for millions of Floridians and Americans. If the GOP and President Trump prevail in Texas v. U.S. in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, coverage for preexisting conditions and other consumer protections will end.
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Today Republicans, with the unfortunate support of our own State of Florida, pressed in court to destroy affordable health care coverage for millions of Floridians and Americans.  If the GOP and President Trump prevail in Texas v. U.S. in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, coverage for preexisting conditions and other consumer protections will end.

Earlier this year, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) urged newly elected Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody to reflect on their campaign promises to lower the high cost of health care by protecting the coverage of Floridians and withdraw from this lawsuit:  “We encourage you and Attorney General Ashley Moody to remove the State of Florida from the federal lawsuit that would kill the ACA and rip health coverage away from American families, including individuals with preexisting health conditions.  Former Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi never should have joined the lawsuit to destroy the ACA… it is more imperative than ever for the State to withdraw and instead side with the almost 8 million Floridians with preexisting conditions...  We urge you to stand up for Florida families and vital ACA consumer protections that save lives and save money.”

While many have discussed the impact of this cynical Republican legal attack on previously uninsured Floridians and Americans, the impact on millions of Floridians and Americans who get health care coverage through their employer cannot be overlooked.  Elimination of the ACA will result in higher health care costs for millions of middle-class Americans and the loss of ACA benefits that they have enjoyed for years.  Millions of older Americans also will lose financial help that they now receive under the ACA to deal with big drug costs under Medicare.  The stakes could not be higher today.

If the lower court is upheld and Trump, Governor DeSantis and Attorney General Moody get their way, the impact on Florida families, seniors and children will be costly and widespread.  Human costs by the numbers include:

  • 7,810,300 Floridians have a preexisting condition, including 973,800 Florida children, 4,086,000 Florida women and 1,760,800 Floridians between ages 55 and 64.
  • 1.6 million Floridians could lose coverage, according to the Urban Institute, leading to a 67 percent increase in the uninsured rate.
  • 132,000 Florida young adults with their parents’ coverage could lose care.  Because of the ACA, millions of young adults are able to stay on their parents’ care until age 26.
  • Floridians over age 50 could face a $4,007 “Age Tax,” which allows insurance companies to charge older Floridians more than younger people.  The ACA limited the amount older people could be charged to three times more than younger people.  If insurers were to charge five times more, as was proposed in the Republican repeal bills, that would add an average “age tax” of $4,124 for a 60-year-old in the individual market, including $4,007 in Florida, according to the AARP.
  • 5,587,000 privately insured Floridians could face lifetime and annual limits.  Repealing the ACA means insurance companies would be able to impose annual and lifetime limits on coverage for those insured through their employer or on the individual market.
  • 1,432,332 Floridians in the marketplaces would pay more for coverage.  If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, consumers would no longer have access to tax credits that help them pay their marketplace premiums, meaning roughly nine million people who receive these tax credits to pay for coverage will have to pay more, including 1,432,332 in Florida.
  • 344,343 Florida seniors could have to pay more for prescription drugs.  If the Trump-GOP lawsuit is successful, seniors could have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare “donut” hole would be reopened.  From 2010 to 2016, “More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs – an average of $2,272 per beneficiary,” according to a January 2017 Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report.  In Florida, 344,343 seniors each saved an average of $1,068.

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