Debunking Partisan Myths About the Affordable Care Act

This fact sheet responds to the myths and
lies being told about the Affordable Care Act
(or “ACA”) to justify its repeal. It can help you
engage with elected officials to spread the
truth about how the ACA has helped millions of
Americans live healthier lives.

MYTH: The ACA is a disaster.

TRUTH: The ACA brought health insurance to more than 20 million people. The percentage of people who are uninsured in the U.S. is at a record low [1].

MYTH: The ACA is a job killer.

TRUTH: The ACA has led to record job growth especially in health care [2]. States that expanded Medicaid saw high job growth and increased revenue [3].

MYTH: The ACA is a government takeover of the health care system.

TRUTH: The ACA is based on conservative free market principles that were used by Republican Governor Mitt Romney in Massachusetts [4]. This is why insurance companies are able to increase premiums or leave the exchanges if they choose.

MYTH: The conservative notion of providing tax credits and expanding health savings accounts would effectively replace subsidies.

TRUTH: For people trying to make ends meet, the ACA subsidy covers about 85% of the insurance premium. Tax credits will not compensate for this financial assistance. Tax credits and health savings accounts mostly benefit people with higher incomes [6].

MYTH: The ACA caused insurance premiums to skyrocket.

TRUTH: Premiums did not increase in all states. The higher premiums are offset by higher subsidies. [5].

MYTH: Selling insurance across state lines will lower costs for consumers.

TRUTH: Selling insurance across state lines will not drive down costs. It is already permitted and hardly any insurance companies do it. Companies that sell across state lines are likely to locate in states with weak regulations to charge more and provide less coverage [7].

MYTH: Discontinuing Medicaid expansion will be good for our health care system.

TRUTH: Politicians would take away care, treatment and medicine from 11 million people now covered under Medicaid expansion [8]. In states that expanded Medicaid, community health centers and hospitals had increased revenues [9]. In states that did not expand Medicaid, hospitals had financial problems and some had to close. Hardest hit were rural counties, the areas that voted heavily for Donald Trump [10].


  1. Uberoi N, Finegold K, Gee E. Health Insurance Coverage and the Affordable Care Act, 2010-2016. March 2016. US Department of Health & Human Services. ASPE Issue Brief. Available at: pdf. Accessed February 27, 2017.
  2. Livingston S. Healthcare Drives Yearly Job Growth. January 6, 2017. Modern Healthcare. Available at: http://www. Accessed February 27, 2017.
  3. Bachrach D, Boozang P, Herring A, Glanz Reyneri A. States Expanding Medicaid See Significant Savings and Revenue Gains. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Available at: rwjf419097. Accessed February 27, 2017.
  4. Calsyn M. Romneycare Versus Obamacare: Two Names; Same Model. Center for American Progress Action Fund. July 2012. Available at: Accessed February 27, 2017.
  5. Emanuel E, Kocher B. Higher Health-Insurance Premiums Don’t Mean the Affordable Care Act is a Disaster. Washington Post Opinions. October 27, 2016. Available at:­dont-mean-the-affordable-care-act-is-a-disaster/2016/10/26/1b7f7ce0-9b84-11e6-a0ed-ab0774c1eaa5_story.html. Accessed February 27, 2017.
  6. Grant R. Replacing ACA Would Harm Economically Vulnerable Persons and the Health Care Safety Net. February 20, 2017. JAMA Forum. Available at:­economically-vulnerable-persons-and-the-health-care-safety-net/. Accessed February 27, 2017.
  7. Blumberg LJ. Sales of Insurance across State Lines: ACA Protections and the Substantial Risk of Eliminating Them. Urban Institute. June 2016. Available at:­across-State-Lines.pdf. Accessed February 27, 2017.
  8. Cross-Call J. Repealing Health Reform’s Medicaid Expansion Would Case Millions to Lose Coverage, Harm State Budgets. Center of Budget and Policy Priorities. December 22, 2016. Available at: files/12-22-16health.pdf. Accessed February 27, 2017.
  9. Rosenbaum S, Paradise J, Markus A, Sharac J, Tran C, Reynolds D, Shin P. Community Health Centers: Recent Growth and the Role of the ACA. January 18, 2017. Kaiser Family Foundation, January 18, 2017. Available at: Issue-Brief-Community-Health-Centers-Recent-Growth-and-the-Role-of-the-ACA. Accessed February 27, 2017.
  10. Kaufman BG, Reiter KL, Pink GH, Holmes GM. Medicaid Expansion Affects Rural and Urban Hospitals Differently. Health Affairs. September 2016, pages 1665-1672. (Abstract available at: Accessed February 27, 2017.)

This FACT sheet brought to you by Public Health Awakened, a group of public health professionals from across the US organizing to support health,
equity, and justice under the Trump administration.

It is convened and staffed by Human Impact Partners. If you have
questions or edits, please email:



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