Governor, insurance commissioner to Congress: Don’t repeal ACA

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler have a message for congressional Republicans: Don’t repeal or roll back the Affordable Care Act.

Inslee and Kreidler sent a letter this week to U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy voicing their opposition to congressional efforts to repeal or roll back the ACA. The letter was in response to McCarthy and other Republican leaders asking for comments from governors and insurance commissioners on their upcoming plans to repeal health care policies.

The state officials didn’t hold back.

“We want to make clear first and foremost that it would be a moral outrage to repeal the health care policies that are so beneficial to millions of Washingtonians without providing an alternative system to make sure all our families continue to have access to affordable care,” they wrote.

Inslee and Kreidler said the ACA has had a profound, positive impact on Washington residents.

“Repealing or significantly undermining the ACA puts hundreds of thousands of our residents at risk of losing their health coverage,” he wrote. “Any effort to repeal the law without a viable replacement will seriously undermine our health insurance market and out state’s economy.”

Under the ACA, the uninsured rate in Washington has dropped from 14 percent to 5.8 percent. Nearly 600,000 people have gained coverage through the Medicaid expansion, according to Inslee and Kreidler.

Also under the ACA, the state’s uncompensated care costs have fallen 50 percent – from $2.3 billion to $1.2 billion – and state expenditures have been cut by $350 million, they said.

Kreidler and Inslee admit that the health care system still needs improvements, but asks McCarthy to “first do no harm” when considering proposals. Cutting funding before developing a replacement bill puts the health of residents at risk by undermining and destabilizing their health care, they said.

The state officials also urged Republicans not to undermine the Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance and Medicare programs, which cover millions of seniors, disabled and low-income children and adults.

“Our residents cannot afford any dismantling of these essential federal programs,” they wrote.

You can read the full letter here.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at or 360-735-4546.

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