UNLV, UMC also will feel hit if Affordable Care Act repealed

The controversy surrounding Obamacare continues.

Local economists are planning for a time without the Affordable Care Act as President Donald Trump made its repeal one of his campaign promises.

GOP politicians, including Nevada U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, have found protesters instead of supporters of the move.

Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West, says the biggest fallout to Las Vegas would not be the thousands who currently use the state exchange to get insured but it would be if the tax on the wealthy is repealed.

“When you introduced it, it was a burden – but it was also a benefit more people are covered,” Lang said. “There’s more money in health care because of Obamacare … because there’s a tax.”

Right now, anyone earning more than $250,000 pays a tax as a way to fund the Affordable Care Act. That money flows into the state.

University Medical Center, for example, was in the red financially years ago and has benefited from that tax to get back in the black.

Lang also says that if that tax was repealed, UNLV would have to rethink its medical school. The projections for that school were made by Brookings – and made with Obamacare funds in mind.

“It would mean it would slow its growth,” Lang said. “It might do smaller classes. It’s more important not just class sizes or the school itself but the multiplier.”

Conversations about a replacement for Affordable Care are happening in the nation’s capital, but nothing has changed yet.

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