Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Column and Interactive Map Show that Cutting Environmental Protections and the ACA Could Put Americans’ Health at Risk
Press Release

RELEASE: Column and Interactive Map Show that Cutting Environmental Protections and the ACA Could Put Americans’ Health at Risk

Washington, D.C. — The GOP Congress and the Trump administration have put dual attacks against environmental regulations and the Affordable Care Act at the center of their early legislative priorities, simultaneously putting the health of millions at risk while taking away their health care. And Trump’s nominees to run the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have made this their primary goal.

The Center for American Progress has released a column and interactive map illustrating the environmental and public health ramifications that rescinding environmental protections would have on public health and how many Americans in each state are at risk from the potential loss of the Affordable Care Act.

“The Trump administration and Republicans in Congress will make people sicker by allowing the fossil fuel industry to pollute more and take away their access to affordable health care,” said Myriam Alexander-Kearns, CAP Policy Analyst and author of the column. “When you look at the states with the highest asthma rates, you often find an increased reliance on the ACA for health insurance. Unfortunately for many in those states, you also see a lot of pollution from the energy sector or heavy oil and gas production. Taking away environmental protections at the same time as repealing the ACA would mean people will get sick and die when they cannot get the affordable care they need.”

The column and interactive specifically compare asthma and ACA reliance rates with the amount of fossil fuel burned for electricity in all 50 states and the resulting emissions of carbon dioxide, or CO2; mono-nitrogen oxide, or NOx; sulfur dioxide, or SO2; and pounds of toxic chemicals released each year. Rules that are critical to maintain public health protections are under attack, and some of them have already been dismantled. The column and interactive also show the number of people in each state who rely on the ACA for health care, making a clear connection between rescinding environmental protections, rates of asthma in a state, and the number of people who would lose their insurance if the ACA is repealed and not replaced.

Click here to view the interactive.
Click here to read the column.

For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact Tom Caiazza at [email protected] or 202.481.7141.

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