ITUP ACA Watch, Issue 3 — The False Equivalency of High-Risk Pools to Replace the ACA
April 25, 2017
Many Republican proposals to repeal, replace or rollback the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA) reintroduce state-based high-risk pools for individuals with pre-existing and high-cost health conditions. California’s pre-ACA experience with a state high-risk pool, discussed in this issue of ACA Watch, demonstrates that high-risk pools leave individuals who, by definition, most need access to comprehensive health services, with high premiums, low benefits and insufficient access to coverage. This issue highlights why high-risk pools would also likely not preserve the ACA’s promise to cover everyone regardless of pre-existing conditions. Ultimately, high-risk pools are a false equivalency to the ACA’s comprehensive coverage framework.