Between 20 and 30 million people will lose their health insurance if Obamacare—aka the Affordable Care Act—is repealed by Congressional Republicans with no replacement plan. Charles Gaba, a Michigan-based health care analyst and owner of acasignups.net, wants to remind people that “each one of those numbers is a real, live human being.”
That’s why he decided to break down the number of people who could potentially lose insurance after a full repeal of Obamacare by congressional district, so people could get a sense of the impact a repeal would have in their own community.
For example, in Florida’s 12th Congressional District, Gaba estimates 36,413 people would lose insurance under a full repeal. In Michigan’s 11th, the total is projected to be close to 75,000. He hasn’t accounted for every state yet.
“It’s all about localizing it,” says Gaba. “It’s such a huge number and such a huge population, people want to know what it means in your town, in your district. When you go to meet with your congressman to talk about it, you have a hard number to talk about it.”
In all, he estimates that about 23 to 25 million people would lose insurance after a full repeal of the law. His charts are broken down by those enrolled in high subsidy plans and those who enrolled in the Medicaid expansion. (He also provides them in this Google doc and breaks down the number of people affected by state and county.)
Gaba notes that his estimates are fairly conservative—for example, he does not account for the number of people under the age of 26 who could be thrown off their parents’ plans or the repeal’s affect on Medicare. The actual number of people who would lose insurance is likely greater (a recent estimate from the Urban Institute puts it at 32 million).
Gaba stresses that the law is by no means perfect, and there are things to fix. However, completely gutting it would adversely impact the lives of tens of millions of Americans.
“The bottom line is that you’re talking about a whole bunch of people, you’re talking about seven to 10% of the U.S. population here,” he says. “These are people who cannot afford [insurance], you’re basically talking about throwing them to the wolves.”
To continue his work, which he does in his spare time, Gaba is “hint, hint” seeking donations.