Should 20 Million Enrollees Stop the Repeal of Obamacare?

For Immediate Release
January 10, 2017
Hamilton Strategies, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, or

Should 20 Million Enrollees Stop

the Repeal of Obamacare?

In New Daily Caller Op-Ed, Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom Finds That Most
Will Be Covered Without ‘Unaffordable’ Care Act
ST. PAUL, Minn.Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF,, a national health freedom and patient advocacy organization committed to health care that is in the best interest of patients and doctors, has been calling for the timely and full repeal of Obamacare—as President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence promised on the campaign trail.
Last week, Pence assured GOP lawmakers that the Trump administration will make good on that promise, with the hopes to have a repeal bill on Trump’s desk by Feb. 20, one month after the Inauguration, reported Fox News.
But one significant roadblock has been the 20 million Americans covered under the “Unaffordable” Care Act.
“Here at Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, we’ve been calling for the complete and rapid repeal of the Affordable Care Act,” says Twila Brase, president and co-founder of CCHF. “While I was on Capitol Hill recently encouraging full repeal of the ACA, one question surfaced repeatedly: ‘What about the 20 million people who got coverage?’ Republicans are naturally concerned. Liberals have weaponized this number to stop repeal of the ACA. But should 20 million people keep a bad law on the books? To answer this, Congress must ask two different questions.
“First, is the number real?” Brase asks. “In March 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimated that 20 million uninsured adults gained coverage under the ACA—17.7 million non-elderly adults (ages 18 to 64) since October 2013 and 2.3 million young adults (ages 19-25) between 2010 and 2013. The estimates are based on data from the National Health Interview Survey and the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. These estimates are ‘adjusted to account for changes in general economic conditions (via employment status), geographic location, demographics and other secular trends.’ Thus, the 20 million is an estimate, not a rock-solid fact.”
Secondly, Brase adds, is the Affordable Care Act necessary for coverage? In a new op-ed for The Daily Caller, Brase examines the groups covered under the ACA, starting with Medicaid.
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Approximately 13 million additional people were expected to enroll in Medicaid in 2016 as a result of the ACA, according to the Congressional Budget Office. However, Forbes contributor Brian Blase, reflecting on a recent study by ACA architect Jonathan Gruber, says 60 percent of these enrollees (7.8 million) were eligible before the ACA expanded Medicaid. Their eligibility would continue even if the ACA is repealed.
In the Daily Caller op-ed, CCHF considers the various groups that received coverage under the ACA. A few additional key takeaways from Brase’s research include:
  • The remaining 5.2 million, who are enrolled under the law’s Medicaid expansion, may not be continuously enrolled throughout the year. Recipients come and go as incomes rise and fall. Because Medicaid is a state program, but jointly funded by states and Congress, this group would not necessarily lose coverage if the ACA is repealed.
  • Prior to the ACA, six states expanded Medicaid eligibility. If the law is repealed, the other 44 states could expand eligibility, or if Congress provides states with Medicaid block grants, creative financing could be used to keep the ACA’s expanded eligibility criteria and benefits intact. For example, states could distribute lump-sum payments directly to hospital and clinic systems to care for Medicaid enrollees, bypassing the high costs of hiring managed care corporations to pay for care. Gov. Tim Pawlenty successfully did this in 2010 after the Minnesota-only General Assistance Medical Care program was repealed.
  • Many in another group—the 5.9 million who lost their private insurance when it was prohibited by the ACA—were forced into Obamacare coverage. If the ACA is repealed, this group will have access to the affordable coverage they once had and wanted to keep.
  • Just 135,000 people with pre-existing conditions enrolled in the ACA’s temporary Pre- existing Condition Insurance Plan. Another 226,000 people were previously covered by 35 state “high-risk pools.” States can resume responsibility for this group of high-cost individuals. For example, Alaska established a high-risk pool for 500 chronically ill residents to prevent 23,000 Alaskans from facing 40 percent premium increases in the individual market.
  • Finally, 2.3 million young adults stayed on their parents’ policies because of the ACA. Most Americans don’t know that this provision cuts employee wages by approximately $1,200 per year. In reality, catastrophic coverage, unleashed from the ACA’s costly benefit mandates and regulatory requirements, would be more affordable for everyone.
“In short, many ACA enrollees lost the coverage they liked because of the law, and most will continue to be covered once the law is repealed—at lower prices with more choices,” Brase says. “Congress must not wait. Americans have lost doctors, hospitals and insurance options. Health plan consolidation has increased prices and restricted access to care. Employers have cut workers’ jobs, hours and wages. And insurance has become unaffordable.”
Earlier this year, CCHF launched The Wedge of Health Freedom (, an initiative to transform and simplify health care in America, starting with direct payment between patients and doctors. Once the hundreds of third-party-free doctors practicing today nationwide join The Wedge and are a part of the “Map of Freedom,” patients will be able to easily find them and embark on a journey back to freedom, affordability and simplicity. These Wedge practices, where patients can find affordable, confidential, patient-centered care, are located in 42 states and can be found online.
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CCHF is a national patient-centered health freedom organization existing to protect health care choices, individualized patient care, and medical and genetic privacy rights. For more information about CCHF, visit its web site at, its Facebook page or its Twitter feed @CCHFreedom. For more about The Wedge of Health Freedom, visit, The Wedge Facebook page or follow The Wedge on Twitter @wedgeoffreedom.
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CCHF president and co-founder Twila Brase, R.N., has been called one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Health Care” and one of “Minnesota’s 100 Most Influential Health Care Leaders.” A public health nurse, Brase has been interviewed by CNN, Fox News, Minnesota Public Radio, NBC Nightly News, NBC’s Today Show, NPR, New York Public Radio, the Associated Press, Modern Healthcare, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Washington Times, among others. She is at the forefront of informing the public of crucial health issues, such as intrusive wellness and prevention initiatives in Obamacare, patient privacy, informed consent, the dangers of “evidence-based medicine” and the implications of state and federal health care reform
For more information or to interview Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, or Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096,


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