The proposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) without a simultaneous comparable replacement will put health coverage for millions of Californians in jeopardy. According to two recent reports, it will also put a lot of jobs in jeopardy. California stands to lose more than any other state because it has the largest population and because it fully embraced opportunities to expand coverage through the ACA.
Recent research from George Washington University, supported by the Commonwealth Fund, projects that the US would lose 2.6 million jobs in 2019, the year repeal is assumed to take effect. California is projected to lose 334,000 jobs — 225,000 more than the next most-affected state, Florida. The report also details declines in state and local taxes, gross state product, and other economic indicators across the country and by state if no replacement plan is in place between 2019 and 2023.
Some of the key California-specific figures are included in a new CHCF infographic.
The full report from The Commonwealth Fund, as well as state data, is available online.
An earlier data brief published by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education projects similar job loss for California. UC researchers also produced a more granular analysis of the economic impacts on the San Joaquin Valley (PDF), where unemployment rates are high, as well as county-specific fact sheets summarizing projected coverage and economic impacts.
These analyses underscore the reality that ACA repeal has ramifications that extend beyond just the health care system to the broader health of the economy. As the repeal debate unfolds in Washington, DC, we must remain aware of the potential consequences for California.