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Under Affordable Care Act repeal, Michigan family "would probably go bankrupt"

Jan 17, 2017

All this week on Stateside, we look at how the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, will affect Michigan residents, hospitals and governments.

Jerry Isler and his grandchildren.
Credit Courtesy of Jerry Isler

According to the Health and Human Services Department, some 20 million Americans have gained health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. President-elect Donald Trump has made repealing and replacing Obamacare a top campaign pledge, and in recent days, Congress has taken steps to quickly repeal much of the ACA once he takes office.

What would such a repeal mean for families who rely on the law for their coverage?

Jerry Isler and his family are watching and wondering about the future of the ACA.

Isler is Vietnam Veteran and a 42-year resident of Farmington Hills, Michigan. After spending 40 years in the metals industry, he retired at age 61, when his doctor instructed him to stop working because of a neuro-muscular disorder.

He has two sons, one of whom was born with Crohn’s Disease, which went undiagnosed until he was in high school. That son, now 36, has had seven abdominal surgeries in his lifetime.

For Isler and his family, the transition to the Affordable Care Act was seamless.

“My wife Gussie and my son Mark went on a Gold Premiere plan,” he told us. “So there was no loss of coverage, and I went on a Medicare plan. The Gold plan was terrific.”

Now, with the future of the ACA in doubt, Isler is worried. He said that provisions in the law to limit the cost of prescription drugs under Medicare by removing coverage gaps and to remove lifetime dollar limits from most insurance policies are particularly important to his family.

So what would happen to the Islers if ACA were repealed without a replacement?

“My son would go bankrupt, and we would probably go bankrupt,” Isler said.

Listen to our full interview with Jerry Isler above.

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