The American Health Care Act, also known as Trumpcare or RyanCare, would be disastrous for low and moderate income Americans, and Californians in particular. The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill this Thursday, and securing votes is coming down to the wire. If you already know what’s at stake you can skip to the Action step below. Otherwise, here’s a brief summary:
The most relevant provisions of the AHCA for WestCoast are the changes to Medicaid—the bill ends Medicaid as we know it by restructuring the program and capping funding to states.
What’s the impact on California?
- 4.1 million Californians that gained Medi-Cal coverage through the Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare) would lose coverage.
- Capped federal funding (meaning fixed amount of money per beneficiary regardless of cost) will not keep pace with state Medi-Cal costs.
- California will face at least an $18 billion budget gap by 2020 due to loss in federal funds.
- Adult Medi-Cal recipients will lose access to mental health and substance use disorder benefits that were added under ACA.
What about kids?
- Though the proposed legislation does not change the entitlement to EPSDT services, the AHCA threatens the entire California economy, which in turn threatens county budgets. As a result, we anticipate that EPSDT services will be harder to access due to administrative barriers and other cost containment measures.
- All other programs that our children and families rely on would be subject to cuts because California cannot absorb a multi-billion dollar shortfall without significantly reducing spending and/or raising taxes.
Take action: Assuming all Democrats oppose the bill, the GOP cannot afford more than 21 Republicans in the House to vote against the bill. Our Oakland Representative Barbara Lee (D-13) stands firmly against the ACHA. But there are 17 Republicans with a ‘No’ position according to The Hill, and 20 on the fence.
- Make calls and share the information: In California there are 13 Republican House representatives. Do you live in one of these districts? Your clients? Family or friends? Click here to look up representatives by address. Click here to see how many people in each district would be affected by the ACHA. *See below for the list of CA reps.
- Share WestCoast’s Facebook post: Social media is the best way to get the word out and there are Reps in other states that are also on the fence. All of our advocacy alerts are posted on our Facebook page.
In a nutshell, AHCA would cut $880 billion in federal Medicaid spending over ten years, shifting that cost to states and causing 14 million Americans to lose Medicaid coverage within a decade. We can’t let this happen.