Despite Real Federal Obstacles, CA Should Not Wait To Advance Health Expansions & Reforms That Don’t Require Federal Approval

Health and consumer advocates reacted to hearings today by the California Assembly Select Committee on Universal Coverage, which in their fourth hearing showcased a variety of expert testimony that explored federal and other obstacles to state efforts to ensure quality, affordable coverage for all Californians.
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For immediate release: Monday, Feburary 5th, 2018

For more information, contact:
Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access California, 916-870-4782 (cell)

ASSEMBLY HEARINGS REVIEW FEDERAL OBSTACLES TO UNIVERSAL COVERAGE IN CALIFORNIA

  • Assembly Select Committee on Universal Health Care Holds Hearing With Expert Testimony About Federal Permissions Needed for Single-Payer, Including ERISA, Medicare, Medicaid, ACA Waivers and More, Financing, Constitutional Issues, Etc.
  • Health Advocates Argue That Despite Real Federal Barriers, California Can and Should Advance Proposals to Universal Coverage That Do Not Require Federal Approval–While We Continue To Organize For Even Broader Reforms for the Future.

SACRAMENTO, CA—Health and consumer advocates reacted to hearings today by the California Assembly Select Committee on Universal Coverage, which in their fourth hearing showcased a variety of expert testimony that explored federal and other obstacles to state efforts to ensure quality, affordable coverage for all Californians. Here is a comment on the hearings from Anthony Wright, executive director, Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition.

“While Congress considers proposals to cut and cap key health care programs, California is correctly comparing options to further expand and secure coverage for all. While Trump and a hostile Congress are unlikely to clear the legal and financial barriers to a ‘Medicare for all’ system in the short term, California can and should continue to take significant, pro-active steps to expand coverage and control health care costs in ways that do not require federal approval

“Addressing the real needs of patients and the public is achievable in the last year of Governor Brown and the first two years of a new Governor, if California focuses on what does not require a friendly federal partner. California can secure and expand coverage for all, by opening up Medi-Cal regardless of immigration status and improving affordability assistance in Covered California–neither of which need federal approvals. While we have long supported promoting and organizing for the vision of a universal health care system, California should not wait three or more years for a friendly federal partner, but take the steps available to secure coverage and address urgent issues of cost, quality, and equity in our health system.”

“By implementing and improving upon the Affordable Care Act, California has seen the greatest drop in the uninsured of all fifty states. If we can keep Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA intact from federal cuts and caps, our state can and should build on our progress, and take additional steps to improve access and affordability for all Californians.”

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