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Senate Action Threatens Health Care Access for Millions of Californians

Senate Action Threatens Health Care Access for Millions of Californians

On Tuesday, Congressional Senate Republicans started the process to take away health care coverage from millions of Californians. This action could result in the loss of coverage for primary care, mental health, and prevention screenings for many. The Congressional proposal focuses on reducing all or most funds for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While specifics are not yet available, this process poses broader threats to the stability of health care for all.

“We have glimpsed the future with better health for our communities and we refuse to roll back progress. Millions of families will be forced to make tough decisions about their health and well-being if the Affordable Care Act is repealed, especially without a replacement,” said Sarah de Guia, Executive Director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network.

California is an example of how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is working to provide much needed health care. As a result of the Medi-Cal expansion and financial assistance in Covered California, the number of Californians without health coverage has dropped by more than half. The gain in coverage has benefited all Californians, including low-income and communities of color, who were disproportionately uninsured prior to the ACA. Since then, more than 5 million people have gained coverage through Medi-Cal and Covered California.

If Congress continues down this path, California could lose $20 billion a year in funds for Medi-Cal and Covered California. In addition to taking away coverage, these reductions will place a huge burden on hospitals and health providers, many of whom rely on this funding to provide care in a timely, culturally appropriate way. California has also been able to offer health care to very vulnerable communities including foster youth, immigrants, and all low-income children. This progress will be undercut if federal funding is severely limited. See more facts in CPEHN’s Health Care Fact Sheet.
 
The next few weeks will be very busy and CPEHN will be following closely. Soon there will be many efforts and detailed proposals to make changes to our health care. Now is a critical time to weigh in!
 
Here is what you can do today:

  1. Make your voice heard! Contact your congressional representative and ask them to DEFEND OUR HEALTH CARE. Just call (202) 224-3121. (You will be asked to enter your five-digit zip code before being transferred to your representative.) 

Suggested Talking Points:

  • My name is _________ and I live in your district (share your story!)
  • I am calling today to urge you to protect our health care!
  • Thanks to the ACA California has cut our uninsurance rates by more than half. Our state has created new jobs and a healthier workforce!
  •  (If a Republican Congressmember): You Said Repeal & Replace—Don’t Go Back On Your Promise! Don’t Repeal the ACA, Especially Without a Replacement in Place.
  • (If a Democratic Congressmember): We are counting on you to be a strong and vocal advocate in Washington D.C. and in your district in support of our health care.
  1. Share your storyWe recently heard from Roselyn M., an In-Home-Supportive Services (IHSS) provider who depends on the ACA to obtain the medications she needs to control her diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol conditions. The Medi-Cal expansion has helped Roselyn to stay healthy while caring for others on the job.
  2. Enroll TODAY by visiting www.CoveredCA.com or by calling (800) 300-1506! Consumers can also get free and confidential assistance in a variety of languages by clicking on“Free Local Help to Enroll.”
  3. Join California’s campaign to defend our health care at #Fight4OurHealth
  4. Support CPEHN’s workWe are doubling down on our efforts to defend and protect our health care. Your financial support will go a long way in this fight!

We will not allow our communities to be shortchanged. We will work to hold the line on what California has accomplished and find windows of opportunity amid these challenges. CPEHN looks forward to working with you to defend the gains we have made and continue progress towards health for all.

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