Any repeals, revisions to ACA could collapse system, insurance expert says

While it remains unclear what the new administration will do when it comes to Obamacare, the effects of even a partial repeal are likely to impact many people.

With an 18-month-old and another on the way, Sarah Kimbrough depends on the affordable health insurance she purchased through Covered California. Now with the program in possible jeopardy, she fears the worst.

"It makes me really worried about how I'm going to be able to afford health insurance in the future," she said.

Deputy Insurance Commissioner Byron Tucker likens the Affordable Care Act to an intricate machine with pieces that depend on each other. If you take away any part, the whole thing can collapse, especially in California.

"Should they repeal and replace even parts of the Affordable Care Act, the results could be devastating. There is no soft landing in California," he said.

Kimbrough fears she'll lose her insurance or premiums will soar out of reach. For now, state insurance officials urge Californians to continue with business as usual.

As for Covered California, people will need to apply by Dec. 15 for coverage that starts in January. But will that guarantee coverage through 2017?

"That is an unknown at the moment. However, if you don't enroll you will not be insured at all," Tucker said.

One thing he knows for sure is that health care saves lives, and the lack of health care will cost lives.
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