State insurance commissioner: GOP health care plan worse than expected

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler on how the healthcare proposal would impact Washington families.

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler had a strong reaction to Monday's Congressional Budget Office report on the GOP plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The non-partisan CBO analysis found that the Republican health care plan would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion over a decade. But in that time, the report also found that 24 million fewer Americans would have health insurance.

The CBO said the plan would result in 14 million fewer Americans with health insurance by 2018.

"The numbers are much more severe right now than we'd been anticipating. I think we were looking at numbers that were going to be approximately half of what the CBO is saying now," said Kreidler. "I'd have to say, looking at the 14 million people losing health insurance nationally - that is a shocking number."

Kreidler, a Democrat, said he's been working with Governor Jay Inslee and other lawmakers to analyze what the GOP health care plan could mean for families in Washington.

"I don't blame people for being scared.  If you're in the middle of a cancer treatment or have been diagnosed with a serious disease, you're clearly thinking about, am I going to be able to keep my coverage?"

Washington is a state that's had a lot of success under the Affordable Care Act, with uninsured rates lower than ever before.

Kreidler fears the GOP plan could bring those uninsured rates to record highs.

"We could go above a million people uninsured just in Washington, and we were below the national average," he said. "You could be looking at one out of five people without health insurance in this country. That is a tragic number."

Kreidler encourages people to contact your elected officials and let them know how you feel about the GOP health care plan.

"I still have some faith that our members of Congress are going to pull back and not go running off the cliff," he said. "And are going to make sure there are accurate programs that will help keep the best parts of the Affordable Care Act alive."

Watch the extended interview here.

© 2017 KING-TV


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