SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued the following statement after the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said the Senate Republican healthcare repeal bill would allow insurance companies to discriminate based on pre-existing conditions, take away mental health and substance-use prevention and treatment, end Medicaid as we know it and leave 22 million working families, seniors, people with disabilities, women and children in California and across the country without care.
"A health care bill should provide health care. This bill takes away coverage from 22 million Americans. That's all you need to know to understand that this Senate Republican repeal bill, drafted in secret, is not really about providing Americans with better healthcare. It’s a Trojan horse for a massive tax cut for the wealthy to be paid for by hard-working, modest-income Americans.
"On what planet does this make any sense? Who wants to return to the days when discovering you had a preexisting condition meant you'd lose your insurance, or that a family could face bankruptcy simply for taking their child to the hospital? That's where the repeal bill could take us, according to the report by the CBO, Congress' fiscal referee.
“Instead of going backwards, let’s strengthen the Affordable Care Act, which has provided security and peace of mind to millions of Americans. At the California Department of Justice, we'll do everything we can to protect access to health care for all Californians.”
In May, Attorney General Becerra took legal action to challenge the Trump Administration and protect health care access for millions of Americans, including more than five million Californians. He is leading 15 attorneys general in seeking to intervene in a lawsuit filed by Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives that undercuts the affordability of health insurance plans under the ACA. The Republican bill repeals these cost-sharing subsidies.
An earlier version of the Republican repeal bill would have led to 4.9 million Californians losing coverage and out-of-pocket costs increasing by an average of $4,000 in more than half of California counties, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The Commonwealth Fund found California would lose 336,000 jobs in the state in 2019 alone as a result of the legislation.
Since the inception of the ACA, the number of Californians without health insurance has fallen from 17% of the population in 2013 to 7.1% in 2016, an historic low. Over 50% of the individuals and families that receive coverage on Covered California, the state’s exchange, benefit from the subsidies. California has proven that the ACA works when state leaders make an earnest effort to make it work.