January 9, 2017
SIOUX FALLS – The South Dakota Democratic Democratic Party released the following statement in response to the eagerness with which South Dakota’s congressional delegation is joining their fellow Washington establishment Republicans in pursuing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also know as Obamacare, without any plan to replace it:
“Instead of fulfilling their promise to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, Republicans are going to make America sick again by offering no health care plan to the American people and actually dismantling Medicare, Medicaid as well as the ACA. Congressional Republicans, including Kristi Noem, Mike Rounds, and John Thune, are leading the charge.
“The Republican health care repeal bill will make America sick again by putting insurance companies back in charge of health care, ripping health care away from 30 million people, raising premiums, and creating chaos throughout our whole economy. Independent experts say this will take us back to the old days when insurance companies could discriminate against people, like individuals with pre-existing conditions. Health care costs for all Americans will skyrocket at the same time big corporations get a tax break.
“In South Dakota alone, repeal would mean:
- 74,000 South Dakotans could lose health care coverage
- 22,005 South Dakotans would lose financial assistance to cover heath care costs
- 346,000 South Dakotans with pre-existing conditions (including asthma, diabetes, and cancer) could lose affordable coverage and women in South Dakota could be charged more for coverage due to their gender
- 392,000 South Dakotans with private insurance, including 86,000 children, and 156,000 South Dakota seniors on Medicare will lose guaranteed access to free preventive care – including recommended cancer screenings and vaccinations
- The Medicare “donut hole” will open once again, meaning South Dakota seniors and people with disabilities will be forced to pay thousands more for their prescriptions (South Dakotans have saved about $49 million in prescription costs thanks to the ACA closing this “donut hole”)
- South Dakota health care providers would be faced with $260 million more in uncompensated care costs
- South Dakota would lose 7,000 jobs, $4.2 billion in state domestic product, $7.5 billion in business productivity, and $108.4 million in state and local tax revenue
“If Kristi Noem, John Thune, Mike Rounds, and their friends in Washington have a plan to replace the ACA and avoid these disastrous effects of its repeal, they have a responsibility to tell the American people what it is. Given that they have had over 6 years to unveil an ACA replacement plan and have failed to do so we can only conclude that one does not exist. Until such a plan is released for the people of South Dakota, and the rest of America, to examine and compare with the ACA, even considering repealing the ACA is completely irresponsible, dangerous, and frankly cruel. The people of South Dakota deserve better.”