Turning great ideas into healthier communities


PHI Statement on Efforts to Repeal ACA

January 10, 2017


The Public Health Institute strongly opposes any efforts to repeal or weaken the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The nation's landmark health law strengthens, supports and improves public health and health infrastructure across the country. There is just too much at stake.

Virtually every public health goal—from preventing the spread of disease to improving disparities in healthcare to violence prevention—begins with the basic assumption that people will be able to seek and receive services no matter where they live, what kind of work they do, or how much money they make. If the ACA is repealed, 30 million more Americans would be uninsured, leaving the nation with a higher uninsured rate than before the law was enacted.

Access to affordable healthcare and prevention are cornerstones of public health. If the ACA is repealed, almost 138 million Americans will lose access to critical preventive health services such as immunizations, screenings for diseases like diabetes and cancer, mammograms and autism screening without co-pays or deductibles. Defunding Planned Parenthood as part of a repeal would leave nearly 400,000 low-income women without key preventive screenings and contraception.

The ACA is also making significant strides to reduce health disparities and improve health in vulnerable communities, as well as investing in prevention. Through the Prevention and Public Health Fund, the ACA has invested in evidence- and community-based interventions across the U.S. such as tobacco prevention and cessation programs, and chronic disease reduction. If the ACA is repealed, these efforts are lost.

Repealing the ACA in its entirety—especially without an equitable and viable plan for replacement—is a shortsighted strategy that will do nothing to reduce healthcare costs. Instead, it will leave Americans sicker and at higher risk for death and disease.