Within hours of his inauguration, President Donald Trump set forth an executive order to roll back the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, potentially impacting thousands in Rhode Island. Now, doctors at the Alpert Medical School worry about what their patients stand to lose.
If the health law is repealed, 79,000 Rhode Islanders may lose health insurance coverage and 10 percent of the state’s population would be put at risk, said Dr. Nitin Damle, president of the American College of Physicians and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the Med School. An additional 165,000 non-elderly adults could be declined coverage because of pre-existing conditions, he added
Dr. Ira Wilson, chair of health services, policy and practice at the School of Public Health, expressed concern over the consequences a repeal would have on Rhode Island’s economy. Like many other states across the nation, Rhode Island receives “a whole raft of economic benefits — some direct, some indirect — from (Obamacare),” Wilson said. He added that Obamacare drastically improved coverage rates and increased revenue as a result.
Wilson supported the expansion of the Medicaid program in states like Rhode Island, which increased its coverage under Obamacare. He added that Rhode Island’s official healthcare exchange, HealthSource RI, has insured roughly 35,000 people in the state.
When more Rhode Islanders use health care, further revenue goes back to state institutions, ranging from hospitals to home care agencies. With a surge in revenue, these institutions “hire people, and the people they hire pay taxes,” he…
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