New Numbers: 18 million people could lose coverage if Congress does not act now - Families Usa Skip to Main Content
03.23.2022 / Press Release

New Numbers: 18 million people could lose coverage if Congress does not act now

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the 12 years since then-President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act into law, the country’s uninsured rate has dipped to 8.9 percent – the lowest in America’s history. But a new report from Families USA says nearly 18 million people could lose their health coverage over the next 12 months if Congress does not take immediate action.

ACA’s Promise of Affordable Health Coverage for Families Across America Is at Risk as Pandemic-Era Policies Expire highlights how the ACA has helped tens of millions of people gain access to health insurance by increasing Medicaid eligibility, ensuring fewer administrative barriers to coverage and improving marketplace affordability.

The report warns those gains could quickly turn into losses if policymakers continue to stand on the sidelines. The American Rescue Plan increased ACA affordability, but the enhanced advance premium tax credits (APTCs) will expire at the end of 2022 without congressional action. And the Families First Coronavirus Response Act suspended Medicaid disenrollment and enhanced the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, but both of those policies are tied to the public health emergency, which could end as soon as July, unceremoniously dropping people from insurance overnight. Almost 18 million people could lose coverage due to cost, a frenzied eligibility redetermination process and bureaucratic paperwork. Families USA recommends Congress extend the APTCs, provide new opportunities for low-income people living in Medicaid non-expansion states to access affordable coverage and take additional steps to reduce Medicaid coverage churn.

“This is the moment to build on the ACA’s historic successes in increasing affordability, improving access, and helping millions of families get and keep health coverage — especially as we battled the worst public health emergency in at least a century,” said Frederick Isasi, Families USA’s executive director. “We urge policymakers in Congress, the Biden administration and in state governments to act in their constituents’ best interest by protecting these unprecedented coverage gains. Twelve years after health care reform was signed into law let’s honor its promise of ensuring access to affordable health coverage for every person and family in America.”

Families USA, a leading national voice for health care consumers, is dedicated to the achievement of high-quality, affordable health care and improved health for all.