Utah reacts to the repeal and replace of Obamacare

Posted at 10:23 PM, Mar 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 00:23:17-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Repealing the Affordable Care Act has been a long time coming and it's going to affect a lot of Utahns.

According to Jason Stevenson with the Utah Health Policy Project, 200,000 Utahns purchase their health insurance through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace.

Those 200,000 Utahns will still have coverage through 2017, but next year remains up in the air.

However, Boyd Matheson with the Sutherland Institute likes what he sees with the new bill.

"We need healthcare that can be applied and used by every American especially those right here in Utah," Matheson said.

Matheson's especially happy with the restructuring of Medicaid so that states receive money from the federal government and can offer refundable tax credits to purchase health insurance.

"Utah has proven time and time again that we can take block grant funding and do much better with it than all the mandates and strings that come from Washington," Matheson said.

However, Stevenson says the bill brings back discrimination against pre-existing conditions by imposing a 30 percent premium surcharge for people who don't have continuous coverage.

"If you lose your insurance for more than 62 days, the insurance companies could go and review your medical records and then charge you more for up to a year just to get that insurance," Stevenson said.

Both sides agree this is a good start.

"We don't want to rush through this if were changing healthcare for hundreds of thousands of Utahns and millions of Americans," Stevenson said.