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Obamacare Repeal Would 'Devastate' Essex County: Study

Patch — February 23, 2017

By Eric Kiefer (Patch Staff)

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, it would "devastate" Essex County, along with the rest of the Garden State, a recent study claims.

On Tuesday, economic think-tank New Jersey Policy Perspective (NJPP) released a report that claims that the repeal of the ACA — otherwise known as Obamacare — would cause "tremendous damage" to every part of New Jersey, especially among low-income workers and seniors.

According to NJPP's analysis, Essex County would be the state's hardest hit county if Obamacare is repealed, with 109,000 residents at risk of losing their healthcare benefits and coverage.

In addition, repeal of the ACA would also cause a loss of $475 million in federal funds and 9,700 jobs in Essex County, the NJPP claims.

Learn more about the study's methodology and see a county-by-county list of projected impacts here.

"Repeal threatens all communities across our state," asserted Maura Collinsgru, Health Care Program Director at New Jersey Citizen Action and the convener of the New Jersey For Health Care coalition.

"We and our coalition partners are asking county and city officials to speak out and pass a resolution urging Congress to preserve the gains we've made and reject any effort to reduce coverage and guaranteed protections now available under the ACA," Collinsgru said.

To date, four counties — Essex, Hudson, Mercer and Union — have passed resolutions that speak out against ACA repeal, as has the city of Jersey City, the NJPP stated.

"Health care should be a priority in the United States for all people," Essex County Freeholder Patricia Sebold said. "Without the ACA, we will be going backwards as a nation... It was important for the Essex County Board of Freeholders to show its support with a resolution."

According to a Gallup poll taken in November of 2016 after the presidential election, 53 percent of Americans "disapprove" of the ACA, while only 42 percent "approve" of it. In addition, 37 percent want it repealed and replaced, and 43 percent want the law kept but with "major changes."

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