Release: Senate Health Leader Implores Majority Leader McConnell to Learn from California’s Health Care Success

June 22, 2017

Senator Hernandez also asks for transparency and a diversity of opinions through the process

SACRAMENTO – Today, the California State Senate Health Leader called for the U.S. Senate to conduct transparent proceedings for their version of health care reform and implored federal leaders to learn from California’s success with the Affordable Care Act.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Dr. Ed Hernandez, O.D. demanded the bill be publicly heard before the appropriate policy committees. In addition, he asked the Senate Majority Leader to look to California for their expertise and bring some much-needed clarity on health care policy, arguing that too much is at stake and too many people’s lives hang in the balance.

“The ACA is working in California because we have fought hard to make it work. As we witness federal leaders dismantling our health care, we cannot stay silent,” said Senator Hernandez, chair of the Senate Health Committee. “The health care of our families, friends, and neighbors is at risk, so that’s why I am prepared to go to Washington, D.C. at any moment in order to share California’s health care success story. We deserve to be heard and recognized.”

Senator Hernandez implemented the ACA policies and the Medicaid expansion in California, which has experienced the largest percentage point decline in the uninsured rate of any state – a drop from 17.2 percent in 2013 to 7.1 percent in 2016.

In addition, millions of vulnerable Californians have the health care they need through Medicaid. About one-third of California’s population, or more than 13 million children and adults, receive health care through Medi-Cal.  Nearly 3.7 million are covered through the ACA’s Medicaid eligibility expansion.

The California State Senate approved Senate Resolution 41 on Monday, June 19, calling on the U.S. Senate to be more open and transparent with the public in its ongoing negotiations surrounding their version of health care reform.

In March, Senator Hernandez authored Senate Resolution 26 calling on Congress to reject any effort to repeal the ACA.

To watch Senator Hernandez’ comments on California health care leadership, click here: For download: