Statement from Sandra R. Hernández, MD, president and CEO of the California Health Care Foundation
July 28, 2017
The ACA is the law of the land. Now is the time to build on its progress.
Last night, the Senate rejected a bill that would repeal key parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Congressional Budget Office had concluded that the bill would lead to 16 million more uninsured Americans and increase premiums in health insurance exchanges by 20% in 2018. It was the third time this week that the Senate voted down a bill that would repeal the ACA in whole or in part.
In response to these latest events, CHCF President and CEO Sandra R. Hernández issued the following statement:
“The Affordable Care Act is the law of the land. It is time for us to come together to build on the progress that has been made and to re-apply ourselves to the important task of improving the way health care works for all Californians — and all Americans.
“Despite numerous efforts to repeal or weaken the law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains a success, especially in California. It has cut the number of uninsured Californians in half. Medi-Cal has surged in popularity not only among the millions who have enrolled in it under the ACA, but among Californians in general. Our exchange is open and working well. Essential health benefits are intact, and they include coverage for mental health services and addiction treatment that is vital for so many of our loved ones, friends, and neighbors. As a result, insurers are taking steps to integrate care in new and better ways. And the system in California and nationwide will continue to improve as more Americans get used to having health coverage and using the right services at the right time.
“Danger still lies ahead. We fully expect the ACA’s opponents to search for other ways to undermine this progress. They will try to make enrollment more difficult and cut back on public outreach. We especially need to keep a bright light on the budget and appropriations process and on tax reform efforts. There will undoubtedly be attempts to slash Medicaid and other safety-net programs that are crucial for American families.
“Americans understand that their health is bigger than politics. Every day that passes with a strong and effective ACA in place is an opportunity for all of us to make health care work even better for them.”
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.