Today, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a new California-specific study, showing the significant cost increases of thousands of dollars that those in Covered California would see if the pending House Republican health rollback bill, the “American Health Care Act” (#AHCA), were to be enacted. According to the study, the average increase in health care costs for someone enrolled in Covered California would be $2,800 by 2020, and rising. In over half of California counties, the average increase would actually be over $4,000–through increased premiums, reduced subsidies, larger deductibles, and more.
The CBPP paper includes new county-by-county data, showing that even in the county with the lowest average cost increase, Los Angelenos in Covered California would be paying over $1,500 more on average for health care. Californians in six other counties would see increased costs on average of over $5,000.
Frankly, it’s shocking that so many California Congressmen from the GOP are undecided on this health proposal rollback bill, given how bad this will be for our state. By necessity, California took the most advantage of the benefits under Medicaid and Covered California, and thus we have the most to lose with this repeal bill. This back-from-the-dead bill should be scary not just for the five million Californians who now get help under the ACA, but anyone who may need to rely on Medi-Cal or the ACA’s patient protections in the future, GOP leaders are bringing back a failed proposal at their own peril–so many Congressional members in California and across the country heard their constituents come out loud and clear against this repeal plan. Especially in California, our Congressional leaders should stop trying to take away our coverage, putting millions of Americans at risk, spike premiums, and undercut the entire health care market.
The study does not include the negative impacts of the MacArthur amendment on the AHCA, which would allow states to gut the protections for those the pre-existing conditions, including changing them more for their health status, or allowing insurers to not cover certain ailments. A new report by the Center for American Progress details the additional premiums and costs under the MacArthur amendment for those with various pre-existing conditions.