Health care workers at California hospitals and clinics that serve low-income patients are relieved but still wary after the collapse of the Senate Republican health care bill earlier this week.
The bill proposed deep funding cuts to Medicaid, which is called Medi-Cal in California and covers one out of three state residents.
A Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis predicted the latest version of the Senate bill would result in 15 million people losing insurance coverage next year and 22 million by 2026. But it would reduce the federal deficit by $420 billion.
There has also been discussion of reviving a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) outright, without a plan to replace it. But that could be difficult because the CBO estimated that “repeal only” would lead to a whopping 32 million Americans without insurance by 2026.
Medi-Cal in California
Since the implementation of the ACA and the subsequent expansion of who qualifies for Medi-Cal, safety-net providers across the state have increased their capacity to treat more patients, and have hired more staff and improved outreach programs and infrastructure. This growth is possible because clinics are getting more reimbursements for their work treating people who were uninsured before the ACA.