Californians Fear Losing Health Coverage

A poll by the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California-Berkeley shows more than half of Californians fear they or a family member will lose health coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

For those with household incomes of less than $20,000 per year and people enrolled in Medi-Cal, the concern is even greater.  Medi-Cal covers 13.5 million Californians, and nearly 4 million of those enrolled were covered as a result of  Medi-Cal’s expansion under Obamacare.

“We all have friends or relatives who are or have been on this program,” said Jennifer Kent, director of the State Department of Health Care Services, which administers Medi-Cal. “The state has literally bent over backwards to make the ACA work.  This poll is basically now showing that people are appreciating what has been built and are worried that it’s going to be taken back down again.”

The GOP bill passed by the House in early May would eliminate the major tenets of Obamacare and cap federal funding of Medicaid. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill would  cause nearly 23 million more people to lose health coverage by 2026 and federal spending on Medicaid would be cut by $834 billion over 10 years.

U.S. Senate leaders are drafting their own version of a health bill with a vote expected before July 4.