Gov. Jay Inslee, pictured here talking to reporters earlier this week, said Thursday that 600,000 Washingtonians could lose Medicaid coverage under the GOP plan to replace the Affordable Care Act. (Ted S. Warren/AP)
OLYMPIA — A handful of state agencies are trying to calculate how the proposed Republican health-care plan would affect Washingtonians, Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday.
The number-crunching comes as the proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act is being pushed by GOP leaders through Congress. The Republican leaders say Barack Obama’s health-care law is collapsing and needs to be replaced quickly.
On Thursday morning, lawmakers voted to send the bill through committee. U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, voted for the plan while U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene, D-Medina, voted against it.
An analysis of the GOP proposal showed older people, Americans who make less money or those who live in places with high-cost premiums would get less help. Meanwhile, people who are younger, earn more money or live in areas with low-cost premiums were projected to be better off.
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In his regularly-scheduled news conference, Inslee described the GOP plan as “Trumpcare” and predicted the legislation would hurt the state.
“Trumpcare means less care, and it means greater cost for Washingtonians, and neither of those are acceptable,” Inslee said.
Under the GOP plan, up to 600,000 people could lose their Medicaid coverage if Washington state didn’t step in to fill the funding gap, Inslee said.
In order to keep those people covered, the state would eventually have to come up with as much as $1.5 billion per year, according to Bob Crittenden, Inslee’s senior policy adviser for health care.
The state Health Care Authority and Office of Financial Management are among the agencies analyzing the Republican plan, Crittenden said.
The state Office of the Insurance Commissioner is also doing an analysis.
That work involves figuring out how the Republican plan would affect enrollment in the current health-care exchange and the individual insurance market, said Steve Valandra, spokesman for the commissioner’s office.
The office is also trying to determine how many Washingtonians would be without health insurance under the GOP plan, Valandra said.
Predicting what will happen is tricky, because “what happens to Medicaid affects the insurance market and vice versa,” Crittenden said.
The analysis is likely to be ready for review next week, he said.
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