N.Y. estimates $3.7 billion loss from Obamacare repeal

ALBANY, N.Y. — About 2.7 million New Yorkers would lose health insurance and the state would incur a $3.7 billion budget hit if Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

As the Republican-led Congress plans to overhaul the federal law also known as Obamacare, New York is bracing for the financial impact on the state.

The Democratic governor urged Congress to rethink its plans.

"The cost of a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, to state and local budgets and to the New Yorkers who depend on its health care coverage, is simply too high to justify," Cuomo said Wednesday in a statement.

New York's health exchange, called the NY State of Health, has enrolled more than 3.3 million people since it launched in 2013, and all but 7% of them enrolled in Medicaid or other subsidized programs.

Just 225,000, or 7%, of New York enrollees are on private plans.

If the program is repealed under President-elect Donald Trump, who has made it a top priority, the state's impact would also mean a $600 million loss of federal funding that goes to counties for the program, Cuomo said.

The overall budget loss is significantly higher than preliminary estimates in November by the state, which initially suggested the state's hit would be about $1 billion from an Obamacare repeal.

New York has praised the success of its state-run health exchange, saying it has cut the percentage of uninsured New Yorkers in half, from 10% to 5%.

Hospital groups in New York have also warned about a repeal, saying hospitals could incur billions of dollars in losses.

Spector is chief of Gannett's Albany (N.Y.) bureau


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