The new report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicts that 24 million Americans would be without health insurance in the next 10 years if the current Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act is approved.
Many residents of Kentucky are carefully watching to see how they might be affected. About 400,000 Kentucky residents who previously did not have health insurance gained coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Robin Shank of Glasgow is one of them.
“I’m concerned about the ACA. I have a very bad heart condition. I went 25 years without medical insurance. It about broke me. The ACA saved my life," said Shank. "If they take it away, it’s going to kill me. It’s going to drive my family into bankruptcy and then I’ll die. That’s why I’m concerned.”
Shank said he had a different medical condition that required an $80,000 surgery and after that, no other insurance company would give him coverage. That was when ‘pre-existing conditions’ were a reason an insurance company could deny coverage. That changed with the Affordable Care Act.
Under the ACA, also called Obamacare, the uninsured rate in the Bluegrass State dropped from about 17 percent to about 7 percent.
Shank said he remembers when his life changed.
"The day ACA came out, I was in the hospital with a heart attack. The ACA saved my life. It literally saved my life.”
Under the Republican proposal, pre-existing conditions will not be an obstacle to coverage.