Metro Council Democrats call on President Trump to go slow in repealing the Affordable Care Act because of its potential impact on people and the city’s budget
Louisville – On Monday, March 20th, members of the Democratic Caucus held a news conference prior to the visit of President Donald Trump to the city. The members asked the President to take a step back and move slowly in repealing the ACA because of its impact on local health care and the city’s budget.
“President Trump said on the stump last year that government has totally failed our African-American friends, and to give him a chance, he’ll straighten it out, what do you have to lose?” said Councilwoman Barbara Shanklin (D-2) who chairs the Community Affairs, Housing, Health and Education Committee.
“Well, Mr. President, health care is what we have to lose. Instead of giving alternative facts, tweets, and temper tantrums, we could have an honest discussion on strengthening Obamacare instead of decreasing options.”
“From 2007 to 2014, Louisville Metro made a net payment of more than $57 million to the Quality Care Charity Trust, averaging over $7 million dollars per year,” said Councilman Bill Hollander (D-9), Chait of the Democratic Caucus. “Because of the Affordable Care Act, the local allocations dropped to $5 Million in FY 15 and to nothing in FY 16 and last year. University Hospital’s unreimbursed care percentage had plummeted from a pre-ACA high of 25% to 5%. We urge the President to slow down, listen to Republicans and Democrats, and protect our care.”
“In the Mayor’s 2016 budget, he recommended a 50% reduction in funding for Family Health Centers due to the decreased number of indigent care patients. In fiscal years 2006, 2007 and 2008, annual appropriations exceeded $2 million per year. In April 2013, 51% of Family Health Center patients were uninsured; four years later, that percentage has dropped to 18%,” said Councilwoman Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D-5), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus. “More than 12,000 formerly uninsured patients have gained health insurance under the ACA and KY Medicaid expansion. If Medicaid expansion were eliminated, and the percentage of uninsured returned to its previous level of 51%, Family Health Centers would lose approximately $5.5 million, or 15% of their total revenues. Mr. President, this is who has benefited from Obamacare.”
“Mr. President, we do not want to go back to the olden days when if you got sick you went to the most expensive place for treatment, the emergency room, subsidized by local government,” says Councilwoman Marianne Butler (D-15) Chair of the Council Budget Committee. “Metro Louisville, you are the taxpayer who will be picking-up this tab if President Trump gets his way. Both President Trump and Governor Bevin have said that the Affordable Care Act is a disaster. The only disaster on the horizon is to the city’s budget if Obamacare is repealed. “
ACA’s Positive Impact on Louisville
Trumpcare would significantly affect Louisville Metro’s budget.
Since 1983, when Mitch McConnell was County Judge/Executive, the county, city, state and U of L spent millions paying for indigent care at University Hospital.
For decades, Louisville Metro spent $10 million, while the State and U of L annually paid $15+ million to offset these emergency room costs.
Over the past four years, the Trust has not been necessary due to healthcare expansion, and Governor Bevin vetoed funding for the Trust in the biannual budget.
Established by the Board of Health in 1976, Family Health Centers have observed over 12,000 patients obtain health insurance under the ACA and KY Medicaid expansion.
Due to Obamacare expansion, Louisville Metro has decreased Family Health Centers funding from an annual $2 million dollars to $750,000 this past year.
$10 million dollars funds:
Paves 50 miles of roads
Fully funds the Louisville Affordable Housing Trust Fund
Hires 100 Louisville Metro Police Officers
About 10% of Kentucky’s population enrolled through Medicaid under Kynect. This brings total statewide enrollment to over 1.2 million.
In 2015, only 6% of Kentuckians lacked health insurance, a drop of 8.3% since 2013.
In 2015, we had the lowest percentage of uninsured residents that any of our surrounding states.