New estimates released today by the Congressional Budget Office show that with the more recent amendments, the GOP’s American Health Care Act as passed in the House of Representatives would still leave 23 million more Americans uninsured within a decade, spiking premiums for million more, and undermine key patient protections on premiums and benefits. In California, these impacts would be especially severe, given our disproportionate population in both Medi-Cal and the individual insurance markets where funding would be cut.
This analysis of the devastating and destructive impact of AHCA shows why the House GOP leadership rushed to get their fellow Republican Congressmembers–including all from California–to vote on this without knowing the cost and coverage impacts. They should have known how disastrous this bill was, given the opposition of doctor, hospital, patient and senior groups, health policy experts across the political spectrum, and strong majorities of the public in every poll.
This bill would leave 23 million more Americans uninsured, and likely 4-5 million in California, both with the cuts and caps to Medi-Cal, and the affordability subsidies now available through Covered California. With these cuts, the analysis suggests that a low-income senior would see his or her premium spike by eight times, costing over $10,000 more annually. The analysis confirms the amendments in the last few weeks made a bad bill worse, undermining key patient protections on prohibiting annual and lifetime limits, junk coverage that doesn’t include essential benefits, and premium surcharges for those with pre-existing conditions.
This report officially and conclusively refutes most of the misleading and false statements made by California Congressmembers trying to defend their vote for this awful bill. Californians will lose access to coverage in Medi-Cal under this bill. Families will see huge spikes in premiums and deductibles directly as a result of this bill. Under this bill, older people and those with pre-existing conditions especially will be disadvantaged and likely priced out of coverage. The Upton-Long amendment co-authored by California Representatives Denham, Knight, and Valadao, did not provide the promised protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
California gained the most under the ACA and has the most to lose. That any Congressmember, especially any from California, voted for this atrocity of a bill is a betrayal to their constituents who depend on coverage from Medi-Cal, Covered California, or the individual market. This analysis shows that this bill is fatally flawed, and that the Senate must start from scratch. This proposal cannot be allowed to become law–the consequnces would be too severe for our state and our nation.