A new report from the Colorado Fiscal Institute looks at the impact of the Republican proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) on Colorado. The report shows that the AHCA’s would have disastrous effects on rural counties and that the wealthiest residents in Colorado, who overwhelmingly live in the Denver metro area, would get a hefty tax cut.
CFI Economic Policy Analyst Thamanna Vasan, who led research on the study, says that while the Affordable Care Act (ACA) cut the uninsured rate in half in Colorado, bringing health care to thousands of rural Coloradans for the first time in their lives, the AHCA would threaten all of that progress. And that threat comes immediately after lawmakers from both parties came together this past session to save dozens of rural hospitals in rural Colorado from closing.
“We found that provisions in the bill would jeopardize access to care for low and middle-income Coloradans across the state but especially those living in rural communities, while giving significant tax cuts to wealthy households in urban areas. We’re talking places like Broomfield, Boulder, Pitkin County.”
The CFI analysis also showed that more than 16,000 jobs could be lost in Colorado by 2020 as a result of the Medicaid cutbacks under the Senate health care bill. “Our economy really depends on these federal dollars that are streaming in to provide healthcare, and so if we cut those dollars that are coming into the state, we’re going to lose a lot of healthcare jobs, so that means we’re going to lose jobs in hospitals, in nursing homes and those individuals are then not going to be able to spend as much money in their economy. So we measured both the direct impact of the loss of these dollars, which would result in a loss of jobs especially in the medical industry, as well as the induced impact, which would be the jobs that would be lost as a result of reduced economic activity. So what we mean by that is that if a nurse loses their job, or if a doctor loses their job, they are going to be spending less in their local economy, which could result in loss of jobs in retail and service industries as well.”
Read the study here.