Sacramento Bee: Obamacare repeal could leave 5 million Californians without health care

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By Angela Hart

January 19, 2017

The outlook is dreary for millions of low-income Californians and others who over the past six years have received expanded access to health care under Obamacare.

That’s the warning from Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-Azusa, should congressional Republicans repeal the federal health care law, as promised, without a sufficient replacement plan.

Hernandez, chair of the Senate Health Committee, will convene a panel in Bakersfield Thursday to take Californians’ temperature on how they perceive the Affordable Care Act, and what can be done to improve it. The hearing comes amid fervent efforts, largely among Democrats, to preserve provisions of Obamacare, including access to Medi-Cal, subsidized insurance premiums and prohibitions on denying coverage to those with preexisting conditions.

“We want to hear from people about what is was like before the Affordable Care Act and what it’s like to have insurance now and what it would potentially be like without it,” Hernandez said.

Without federal funding, millions of people face losing access to health care, Hernandez said. California receives $20 billion in federal money annually, the lion’s share of which funds Medi-Cal for low-income residents and those facing the greatest health disparities.

“If we lose that money, the state will not have $20 billion to backfill it,” he said.

Nearly 5 million state residents are at risk of losing health benefits under a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, according to a new study from the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. Hernandez, meanwhile, is seeking to drum up political support among Californians to pressure Trump and his Republican allies to halt any plans to dismantle the disputed health care law.  A livestream of the 3 p.m. hearing is available here.

Capitol Alert AM Sacramento Bee

Angela Hart:  NEW TO THE BEE:  My name Angela Hart and I’m excited to join The Bee Capitol Bureau to cover state politics. I previously spent three years the Santa Rosa Press Democrat covering Sonoma County government and politics, as well as health care, housing and more. Reach me on social media @ahartreports and email me with tips. A little about me: I’m a U.S. Army veteran and alum of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

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One Response to Sacramento Bee: Obamacare repeal could leave 5 million Californians without health care

  1. By posting this rag of a story I can tell you have not a inch of experience with the ACA. You never paid into it. You have no idea of its up sides or downsides.

    My wife has been a victim of the ACA since it was first put on the market..

    We have dutifully paid our premiums only to find we had had deductibles so high that she was denied services.

    At the end of each year our income tax refunds were confiscated.

    The ACA turns out to be a new way of taxing the middle class.

    Only good can come from the repeal and replacement of the ACA.

    It is obvious you never had to apply to the ACA.


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