Lawmakers worried about effects of Obamacare repeal

State leaders say replacement could cost state $1 billion

BOSTON (WWLP) – The U.S. House of Representatives voted to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act- commonly referred to as Obamacare- on Thursday. Massachusetts lawmakers are now concerned for the future of healthcare for millions of residents, as the state faces the potential loss of much-needed federal funding.

If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, top state leaders say it could cost Massachusetts more than $1 billion.

The bill that Congressional Republicans approved, known as the American Health Care Act, would cut funds to the states to expand Medicaid. This comes at a time when costs and enrollment continue to rise for MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program.

Healthcare makes up more than 40% of Massachusetts’ proposed $40.3 billion budget for the next fiscal year. Senator Sal DiDomenico (D-Everett), vice chair of the budget committee, told 22News that about one quarter of Massachusetts’ budget is dependent on federal funds.

“There is an assault on working families, and an assault on families that need help the most. There are many people on Obamacare in our state and many families that need our support,” DiDomenico said.

Republican Governor Charlie Baker is urging rejection of the bill, which now moves on to the Senate.