Media Statement

California Hospitals Express Disappointment in Senate Version of Health Care Repeal Bill
Legislation Will Undermine Medicaid Program, Many Californians May Lose Coverage

California hospitals have long stood for health care coverage for all Americans. The draft health care bill released today by the U.S. Senate does not meet this principle. In fact, the proposed legislation would likely result in a significant step backwards.

California has covered 4 million children, seniors and working families through Medi-Cal expansion over the past several years. Additionally, 1.5 million Californians have purchased insurance through Covered California. California leads the nation in expanding health care coverage, with 91 percent of all Californians now covered. This progress has helped working Californians, seniors and children access care they would not otherwise have had.

Health care coverage makes a significant difference in the lives of working families who now have access to important preventative care, routine examinations, hospital services and medications. This care keeps children healthy and in school, gaining the knowledge they need to become the future of our state and our country. Many adults who once had trouble finding health coverage because of pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure, asthma and diabetes are receiving the care and access to treatment they need and contributing to a more productive workforce — key to California’s growing economy.

The Senate’s proposed legislation, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, would lead to devastating cuts to the Medicaid (Medi-Cal) program. Similar to the House bill passed in May, the Senate’s proposal would cut more than $800 billion in federal Medicaid spending. But, unlike the House bill, the Senate targets some of these cuts toward Medicaid expansion states such as California. The impact on California will be severe, taking potentially hundreds of millions of dollars away from funding aimed at providing care for low-income families, seniors and disabled patients in the safety-net hospitals who care for them.

CHA supports an optimally healthy society, which includes coverage for all Californians. Now is not the time to retreat from the important gains in coverage that have been made in the past few years. We call on the U.S. Senate to ensure that the gains in coverage continue to move forward.