FSU Medical Professor Predicts Obamacare Opponents May Be Hurt Most By "Repeal And Replace"

Jan 24, 2017

The repeal of the Affordable Care Act appears almost certain. On Monday (1/23) a Tallahassee doctor who also teaches at the Florida State University College of Medicine was speaking on what might happen next.

Dr. Ken Brummel-Smith explaining his take on Affordable Care Act repeal and replacement to the Democratic Club of North Florida.
Credit Tom Flanigan

Dr. Ken Brummel-Smith with the School’s Department of Geriatrics admited he’s not a big Obamacare fan.

“I wasn’t for the ACA when it came out because I’m for a single-payer system,” he told applauding members of Democratic Club of North Florida.

Brummel-Smith, who is also an admitted Democrat, was talking about the impact of a specific Obamacare repeal and replacement bill that was advanced by Georgia Congressman and Medical Doctor Tom Price in 2015. Price is also the pick of President Trump to be the next Health and Human Services Secretary. The Price repeal would again allow the denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions and disallow parental plan coverage for children up to age twenty-six. It would also reinstate coverage caps and use tax credits instead of subsidies to help consumers pay premiums along with doing away with mandated coverage. Brummel-Smith also noted it would not only be Obamacare policy holders who would be affected.

“So those are all planned repeal aspects of commercial insurance. That’s not people who signed up through the Marketplace and I don’t think 99 percent of the people understand this about their own insurance,” he explained.

The Price plan would also withdraw coverage from the 11 million-plus people who were given access to healthcare under Medicaid expansion. And although opponents of Obamacare have long contended its repeal would reduce government spending, Brummel-Smith said just the opposite was more likely to occur, citing estimates from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

“Overall, this repeal and replace will increase the federal deficit by $137 billion over ten years.”

Brummel-Smith opined that’s a fact which might make this plan unpalatable to budget conservatives on Capitol Hill. And what about the costs for the average person with health insurance?

“It will go up when this happens rather than down because the healthy people will move out of the system and get into these catastrophic categories.”

And according to a map from the non-profit Kaiser Family Foundation, Brummel-Smith said many of those now covered by the Affordable Care Act may be among its most strongest opponents.

“But we have a lot of places in Texas, Florida and the south and especially up here that have huge numbers of people who voted for Trump, but are going to lose their insurance.”

Brummel-Smith said that would happen unless the Trump administration and Congress manage to come up with a better replacement plan than the ones now envisioned.