Stony Brook University hospital ARACELY JIMENEZ/STATESMAN FILE

Elimination of the Affordable Care Act would cause state-run hospitals, like Stony Brook University Hospital, to cut costs. ARACELY JIMENEZ/STATESMAN FILE

United University Professions, a union of SUNY professors, released a statement on Jan. 27 denouncing President Donald Trump’s promise to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

“Healthcare is a right not a privilege,” UUP President Frederick Kowal, Ph.D., said in the statement. “The Affordable Care Act provided millions with health insurance for the first time, and gave millions more a chance to strengthen their weak coverage. Repealing the ACA would cause a health care crisis, the size of which this country has never seen.”

According to the news release, 153,000 people in Suffolk County are at risk of losing health insurance.

The UUP believes the elimination of the ACA would create chaos in hospitals across the country, especially in New York’s state-run hospitals, which include Stony Brook University Hospital.

New York could potentially lose $3.7 billion in federal healthcare funds, causing hospitals to cut costs while treating an increased number of uninsured patients. State-run hospitals do not turn patients away based on insurance.

About 22 million Americans will be affected by the elimination of Obamacare, according to a report by the Federation of American Hospitals and the American Hospital Association. 

“This could become a perfect storm for our hospitals,” Kowal said. “These institutions are a beacon of hope for hundreds of thousands of patients each year, many of whom are uninsured or underinsured.”