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February 01, 2014 AT 6:36 AM
Republicans may not agree with President Obama's State of the Union call to drop the idea of repealing the Affordable Care Act, but health experts say the law has taken such hold that it may be impossible to get rid of it. The consequences of repeal, health care officials and industry analysts say, go beyond the fact that 9 million people would suddenly lose their insurance or that anyone with a pre-existing condition would either lose insurance or pay much higher premiums. All consumers would take a huge financial hit, because health care costs would continue to rise, and insurers would probably recoup their losses by charging higher premiums. Repeal "was a 2012 issue — if the Republicans had won both the House and Senate and the White House," said Gail Wilensky, an opponent of the law and the former Medicaid program director under President George H.W. Bush. "