RELEASE: California Senate Leader and Health Chair Ask Congressman McCarthy to Drop Rhetoric and Protect Health Care of Millions

January 11, 2017

Senators De León and Hernandez implore McCarthy to see the disastrous consequences of repealing without an immediate replacement

Senate Health Chair Hernandez will hold a hearing on the ACA in Bakersfield

SACRAMENTO – Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Léon (D-Los Angeles) and Chair of the Senate Health Committee Dr. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) issued a joint letter to House Majority Leader Congressman Kevin McCarthy on the Affordable Care Act.

In the letter, both leaders urge Congressman McCarthy to abandon the political rhetoric about repealing the ACA, and instead consider the impact such action would have on the lives of people across California.

“I am fully committed to doing everything possible to protect the health care advancements we have made in California,” said Senator Hernandez. “A plan to repeal the ACA without a clear policy to put in its place is reckless and shows a callous disregard for the millions of people who rely on the ACA for their health care.”

The Senate Health Committee will hold a hearing in Bakersfield next Thursday, January 19 on what health plans, providers, and other stakeholders have done to implement the ACA in California, the benefits health care coverage has had for Californians, and what is at stake should the Republican Congress follow through with its repeal plans.

Repealing the ACA would strike a devastating blow to the health care of millions in California. Furthermore, the state would suffer the loss of 210,000 jobs – including 5,000 in Kern County and 3,000 in Tulare County, which are in Congressman McCarthy’s district.

California has led the nation in the implementation of health care reform and the Medicaid expansion. Over the first two years of full implementation of the ACA, California experienced the largest percentage point decline in the uninsured rate of any state – a drop from 17.2 percent in 2013 to 8.6 percent in 2015. Nearly 3.7 million individuals have health coverage through the Medicaid ACA eligibility expansion and more than 1.4 million people have coverage through Covered California.