Costa and Valley Health Care Providers Speak About Federal Health Care Legislation
Madera, CA – Today, Rep. Jim Costa (CA-16) and Valley health care providers held a media availability to speak about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the recently introduced American Health Care Act (AHCA).
“Today I will be hearing from San Joaquin Valley health care providers about what they think works in the Affordable Care Act and what in the law could be fixed. We will also be discussing the provisions in the recently introduced American Health Care Act,” said Rep. Costa. “The fact is that since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the uninsured rate among residents living in California’s 16th Congressional district has been cut in half from 22.5% to 11.1%. I understand the Affordable Care Act is not perfect. Republicans and Democrats in Congress and the Trump Administration must come together to fix the Affordable Care Act and implement health care policies that make sense for all Americans.”
“It’s good to see that the American Health Care Act proposal recognizes the critical role that federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) play in our healthcare environment, as illustrated in the additional $422 million in funding,” said Paulo Soares, Chief Executive Officer of Camarena Health. “However, we certainly don’t want to lose sight of the gains and achievements we have made in regards to increasing access to quality care through the expansion of Medicaid. Loss of the Medicaid expansion would prevent millions of Californians from continuing to access affordable primary care services.”
The Affordable Care Act established mental health care as an essential health care service, said Dennis Koch, Director of Madera County Behavioral Health Services. “Repealing the Affordable Care Act without an immediate, suitable, and comprehensive replacement will do irreparable damage to our publically funded mental health and substance use disorder systems.”
“Based on the current proposal, the California Medical Association is concerned that the American Health Care Act doesn't go far enough to improve access to physicians through payment rate increases or network adequacy requirements,” said Dr. Ranjit Singh Rajpal, Board Member of the California Medical Association. “We're also concerned that the federal Medicaid funding will be reduced, shifting the burden to the states and ultimately to physicians who are on the front lines caring for these patients. What's more, too many Californians could lose coverage because the aged-based tax credits aren't adequate to help low-to moderate-income families afford insurance.”
Advocates for the health and well-being of Central California residents should oppose the current efforts to partially repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, said Dr. John Capitman, Executive Director of Central Valley Health Policy Institute. “As many as 88% of California's 16th district residents are served through MediCal (Medicaid) and California's insurance marketplace. Approximately 420,000 people or 58% of the District's population enrolled in Medicaid (MediCal) are at risk of losing benefits because of the proposed financing changes. Around 217, 000 residents of the district have enrolled in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) market place. The ACA is already making demonstrable improvements in access to preventive care and reduced avoidable hospitalizations: the proposed replacement will stop this progress and exacerbate our region's challenges.”
“Together, we have been able to enroll more than 15,000 individuals in Medi-Cal or health insurance through Covered California,” said Socorro Santillan, Executive Director of Fresno Barrios Unidos. “We’ve also helped transition more than 2,600 undocumented children to receive Medi-Cal thanks to the “Health for All Kids” Bill. But now, it seems like all our work will be undone with the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Now more than ever do we need a health care safety net. According to Health Access California, more than 120,000 individuals would be negatively impacted by the Affordable Care Act repeal in this congressional district alone.”