Statement from Sandra R. Hernández, MD, president and CEO of the California Health Care Foundation
May 24, 2017
Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would undo major provisions of the Affordable Care Act before the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) had an opportunity to analyze the impact of the bill.
“The Congressional Budget Office’s newly revised estimate gives us a brutally honest look at the real-world consequences of lawmakers’ latest attempt to overhaul health care. The consequences are impossible to ignore.
“If this bill becomes law, 23 million Americans will lose health insurance by 2026. Families will be forced to choose between paying for care or putting food on the table. It will create a huge hole in the nation’s health care safety net by cutting Medicaid funding by about one-quarter. States, communities, and families will struggle to provide necessary care for those who are most vulnerable — including children, seniors, and people with severe physical or mental disabilities.
“These deleterious changes would have an especially serious impact in California, where Medicaid covers one in three Californians. Under these changes, more Californians will delay or defer necessary care. When they do show up for care, they will be sicker and the ensuing costs to provide care will rise, affecting all segments of the health care market. More Californians will declare bankruptcy because of high medical costs.
“For the richest nation on earth, this scenario is simply unacceptable. As a nation, we can do better, and these new facts show us that we must.”
The California Health Care Foundation is dedicated to advancing meaningful, measurable improvements in the way the health care delivery system provides care to the people of California, particularly those with low incomes and those whose needs are not well served by the status quo. We work to ensure that people have access to the care they need, when they need it, at a price they can afford.