Taxes on Rich, Corporations Help Fund This Vital Public Service—GOP Is Trying to Abolish ACA Through Misguided Court Case
Nothing makes the need for broad healthcare coverage clearer than a public health emergency like the Coronavirus pandemic. Because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—signed into law 10 years ago this Monday, March 23—tens of millions more Americans have health coverage at this critical time.
The ACA is a good example of the kind of vital public services we can afford when we tax the wealthy and corporations more fairly and invest the revenue in working families. Taxes on wealthy investors and profitable healthcare corporations are critical funding sources for the ACA.
Unfortunately, President Trump and Republicans in Congress are trying to abolish the ACA. That would take away healthcare from all those millions of working families who were finally able to obtain coverage, while giving the rich and big corporations huge tax cuts.
Even before the current crisis hit, Americans were benefitting from health care reform. The ACA’s 10th anniversary is a good time to review all the reasons we can’t let the Republicans take it away from us just to give tax breaks to wealthy households and profitable corporations.
SUGGESTED ACA ANNIVERSARY TALKING POINTS
- The Coronavirus pandemic shows how critical it is that the Affordable Care Act provides healthcare coverage to 20 million people.
- By giving millions access to affordable healthcare, the ACA has made our families and communities healthier and better able to confront this medical emergency.
- It’s outrageous that President Trump and fellow Republicans are backing a lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act. If they are successful it will take healthcare away from 20 million people and give huge tax cuts to the wealthy and big corporations.
- In the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic—when Americans need their healthcare more than ever—President Trump and the Republicans must do the moral thing and #DropTheLawsuit!
- The Affordable Care Act is a great example of the good things that government can do when the rich and corporations pay their fair share of taxes. By requiring the wealthy and price gouging drug corporations to pay a little more in taxes, 20 million people are getting affordable healthcare under the ACA. And more than 50 million people with preexisting conditions can no longer be denied coverage by greedy insurance corporations.
KEY FACTS ABOUT THE ACA
Core ACA facts from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
- Over 20 million more Americans have health coverage, through expansion of Medicaid, subsidized private insurance purchased on the exchange, expanded family coverage and more.
- The share of uninsured Americans has fallen from about 15% to under 10%. Broad coverage is vital in a public-health emergency like this one: the more people with ready access to medical care, the safer it is for all of society.
- Health care is more accessible and affordable. The number of non-elderly adults who reported struggling with medical bills fell by 17% between 2010 and 2018. Those who reported high costs barring them from medical care (seeing a doctor, taking a test, filling a prescription) fell by an average of over 20%.
- More than 50 million Americans with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage. Before the ACA, insurance corporations routinely turned away patients with a variety of ailments, the people who needed coverage most.
- The quality of insurance has improved. Until the ACA set national standards, insurance corporations sold flimsy policies that didn’t cover such basics as maternity care, substance abuse, and mental health. Policy holders often didn’t know how thin their coverage was until a medical emergency struck.
- The wealthy and corporations helped pay for expanded coverage. Wealthy people who don’t pay payroll taxes on their investment earnings now pay an equivalent tax on such unearned income to support the ACA, and drug corporations pay a special tax as well. Until Congress last year unwisely abolished ACA taxes on health insurers and medical device makers, those corporations also contributed to the expanded coverage of healthcare reform.
- Medicare finances have been strengthened. The highest earners now pay an extra payroll tax that improves Medicare’s fiscal health.
- Taxes on the wealthy and corporations were expected to raise almost $320 billion over 10 years for the ACA and Medicare. Taxes on health insurers, medical device makers and drug corporations were estimated at the time of the law’s passage to raise over $107 billion in the first decade. The tax on the investment income of wealthy households and the extra Medicare tax were together expected to raise $210 billion.
- Republican governors and GOP leaders in Congress have sued to abolish the ACA with the support of the Trump administration, threatening the healthcare coverage of 20 million Americans and endangering the quality of care of tens of millions more.
- The midst of a medical emergency like the Coronavirus pandemic is the worst possible time to be trying to take healthcare away from working Americans. Republicans must stop their legal efforts to abolish the ACA.