SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones issued the following statement today following the release of the Senate Republicans’ health care proposal:
“The Senate Republicans’ proposal to repeal the ACA has most of the same devastating consequences for Americans’ health care as the House bill, including provisions that would permit the elimination of coverage for essential health benefits and the caps on out-of-pocket costs that help prevent medical bankruptcy.
The Senate Republicans have drafted this in secret, so we don’t yet have a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the proposal, but we do know that the Senate Republican bill would make deeper cuts to Medicaid, which 1 in every 3 Californians rely on, and make health insurance less affordable for millions who buy their own coverage. Starting in 2020, the Senate bill would take away premium subsidies for middle-income families whose premiums would then become unaffordable. The Cost-Sharing Reductions, which help low-income Americans reduce their deductibles and copayments, are also eliminated by the Senate bill. The Senate bill would defund Planned Parenthood, which would reduce access to family planning, cancer screenings and other reproductive health care services and increase the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions. Like the House bill, the Senate proposal cruelly strips funding away from health care coverage in order to fund tax cuts for the wealthy. Now that senators have finally been permitted to see the bill, I urge them to walk away from this shameful proposal to deny health insurance coverage to millions of Americans.”
The Senate bill includes these and other provisions:
- Ends Medicaid expansion in 2023. At least 3.7 million Californians depend on this program.
- Slowly strangles the remainder of Medicaid, drying up the funds needed to pay for 64 percent of all nursing home residents across the country, as well as 49 percent of all births, and 60 percent of all children with disabilities.
- Raises premiums on Californians over 60.
- Removes incentives for healthy people to enroll in coverage, resulting in higher premiums.
- Ends the Cost-Sharing Reductions which help low-income Americans pay for deductibles and copayments.
- Reduces the amount of premium subsidy provided to low-income Americans, and increases the out-of-pocket costs that Americans must pay, putting coverage even further out of reach.
- Defunds Planned Parenthood.
- Prevents any coverage sold through the Exchanges including abortion coverage.
- Provides tax hundreds of billions in tax windfalls to the very wealthy, to drug companies, and insurance companies.
- Removes existing Medical Loss Ratio requirement that requires that 85 or 80 percent of premiums go to patient care.
- Permits waivers of requirements, such as essential health benefits and those that limit annual out-of-pocket costs.