With the introduction of the new GOP health bill proposal, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act also known as Obamacare, the independent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office shows that approximately 24 millions people might end up uninsured under the GOP health plan within a decade.
The CBO released its new analysis of the Republican draft to repeal the ACA which also impose caps and cuts to Medicaid on March 13.
“The GOP proposal would lead to more uninsured Americans than there were prior to passage of the Affordable Care Act,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition. “The independent analysis from the CBO shows that under the Republican proposal an astonishing 24 million more Americans will be uninsured, living sicker, dying younger, and being one emergency away from financial ruin..”
Under the Republican proposal between 4 to 5 millions California residents would be impacted.
Wright said the GOP proposal also breaks the promise made by President Donald Trump and congressional members who in many occasions said they wouldn’t repeal the ACA unless they replace it with something better at a much less cost of health coverage.
“The scale of consumers losing coverage will have ripple effects throughout the health care system, with public health and economic consequences for everyone,” Wright said.
The GOP health plan would phase out Medi-Cal expansion by 2020, which in California covers four million residents who were able to obtain coverage thanks to the expansion under the ACA.
The GOP plan, which is call the American Health Care Act or Trumpcare, would also cap overall Medi-Cal in the state which would force cuts of tens of billions of dollars and rationing care for 14 million Californians.
In California, Medi-Cal, the state program for Medicaid, is a crucial program that covers a third of California’s population, including more than half of children and two-thirds of nursing home residents.
In the Central Valley, half of its population has health coverage through Medi-Cal. In Fresno County 50 percent of the population are covered in Medi-Cal while in Tulare County the percentage of the population with Medi-Cal health coverage is 55 percent.
“California saw the greatest percentage reduction of uninsurance of any state, and took specific advantage of the opportunity to expand coverage under Medicaid, which would be particularly hard-hit with cuts,” Wright said. “The CBO analysis would cut Medicaid by $880 billion over a decade, to a program that covers 14 million Californians, a third of our state and nearly half of Central Valley residents.”
Wright said California already has one of the lowest per capita costs of any Medicaid program in the nation, “with minimal opportunities for additional efficiencies or savings, so additional costs would force real cuts--to benefits, services, access, and eligibility.”
Also reduction and restructuring of tax credits would mean many people will find health coverage unaffordable while others will see premiums and cost spikes.
According to health advocates, people who get tax credits, such as through Covered California, on average will see a 40 percent reduction in the financial help they get to afford health coverage.
The GOP proposals’ flat tax credit would affect many in California since it would no longer be based on need, and California already had above-average health costs, and a higher percentage of lower-wage workers than other states.