The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution Feb. 1 to oppose any repeal or weakening of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The resolution cited the vast number of county residents the ACA has helped, as well as the local economic opportunities it has provided.
“The Affordable Care Act is helping people – the uninsured rate in Washtenaw County has dropped by half since 2010,” says Andy LaBarre, chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. “As a community, we want to support residents’ health and productivity. Maintaining what we’ve gained with respect to affordable health coverage is one clear way to do this.”
The Washtenaw County Board of Health also passed a similar resolution.
“A repeal of the ACA would be detrimental to Washtenaw County in so many ways.” says Felicia Brabec, Washtenaw County Commissioner and member of the Washtenaw County Board of Health. “More people have affordable coverage, and that coverage is not necessarily tied to their employer. This encourages entrepreneurship. It also promotes preventative health care and mental health in our community.”
The Washtenaw Health Plan sent a letter encouraging the continuation of the ACA, and supporting additional efforts to strengthen access to care, to federal legislators. The Board of Commissioners also resolved to send the resolution to the federal and state legislative delegations representing Washtenaw County.
Both the resolution and the letter outline how the Affordable Care Act has benefited Washtenaw County. For example, over 16,000 individuals in Washtenaw County have enrolled in the Healthy Michigan Plan (the Medicaid expansion), and 13,500 have enrolled in Marketplace insurance. That is nearly one in ten Washtenaw County residents who now have insurance due to the Affordable Care Act.
The Affordable Care Act also benefits those who are self-employed or whose employers do not offer them insurance, young adults up to age 26 who can stay on their parents’ health plans, and individuals with pre-existing conditions. A University of Michigan study found that the Medicaid expansion has created 30,000 jobs, and has provided $2.3 billion in economic activity across the state.
For personal testimonies of how the ACA has helped individuals locally, watch these two videos, created by the Washtenaw Health Plan and Washtenaw County Public Health, about a dance instructor and a graduate student who were able to find insurance through the ACA.
Want to tell your story of how the Affordable Care Act helped you? Email us directly!