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Sisters of Charity Health System statement on repeal of the ACA individual mandate

The Senate Finance Committee will soon release tax legislation that includes a repeal of the individual mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This proposal would lead to a devastating increase of 13 million in the number of uninsured in our nation, and further destabilize the health insurance market. The individual mandate is a vital factor in the ACA to help broaden the individual insurance market and spread costs among various populations, as well as helping to lower the rate of non-elderly uninsured from 44 million in 2013 to 28 million last year.

According to a recent analysis from the Congressional Budget Office, repealing the individual mandate would lead to a decrease in the number of people with health insurance by 4 million in the first year alone and by 13 million over the next decade. Increasing the number of uninsured by 13 million will put us on an unsustainable path that leads to greater costs in uncompensated care and loss of access to care for many who now have it. In addition, a repeal would further destabilize the insurance marketplace and lead to an average 10-percent annual increase in insurance premiums over current projections. This is an unacceptable proposal, reversing the gains of the past five years and taking us backwards instead of forwards in our mission to provide accessible and affordable health care for all.

Please contact your senators now and ask them to oppose any legislation that includes a repeal of the individual mandate under the ACA. A vote on the Senate floor could come as soon as the last week of November, and Senate leadership hopes to pass a bill by early December. A sample letter is available on e-Advocacy. Thank you for helping to make our voice heard on this important issue, and for all that you do to support our Catholic health ministry.

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