Local Reaction to the Repeal of the Affordable Care Act

Indivisible Yolo Protests Repeal of ACA                                 

This statement was issued on Thursday morning prior to the repeal of the ACA:

On Wednesday afternoon, Indivisible Yolo received word that the House of Representatives would be voting on the disastrous AHCA bill on Thursday, May 4th. In response, IY rapidly organized an all night vigil outside Representative John Garamendi’s Davis office to support him and to defend the Affordable Care Act.

Rep. Garamendi, a staunch supporter of the ACA, has been steadfast in his opposition to the AHCA. “Garamendi is our voice in Congress and it seemed right that we would gather there to show support for his “No” vote, and to demonstrate to the rest of the country the depth of our concern for the devastating consequences this bill would have,” said Indivisible Yolo member Rachel Beck.

Members started to gather along the G St sidewalk just outside of Rep. Garamendi’s Davis office at 8pm Wednesday evening. More than twenty people participated in the vigil, and many who were not able to attend sent support, including a San Francisco resident who heard about the vigil on twitter and sent pizza, and the CA-04 residents and Indivisible members who tweeted from their vigil outside Rep. McClintock’s offices.

Passersby were overwhelmingly supportive and appreciative of the vigil, many sharing their own healthcare stories. One man happening upon the vigil shared that his diagnosis of leukemia at the age of 4 had prevented him from obtaining health insurance, until the Affordable Care Act required insurance companies to provide coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. His story, along with other video statements, scripture readings, and photos from the vigil, can be found in the IndivisibleYolo Twitter feed and Indivisible Yolo Facebook page.

Representative John Garamendi:

“This bill is atrocious. It is cruel. I simply cannot believe that something this bad could pass the House of Representatives, but it has.

“This bill will strip 24 million people of their health insurance. It is a crushing age tax for Americans of 50-64 years of age, and will force them to pay up to five times as much as what a 30-year-old would pay for the same coverage. It will destabilize funding for Medicare, taking $75 billion out of the trust fund, and blow a $10 billion annual hole in MediCal. It will practically eliminate the guarantee of coverage for pre-existing conditions, which could affect over 300,000 people in my district. But it will provide a massive, $600 billion tax cut to America’s richest. It is an outright assault on the poor and the sick, and a huge transfer of wealth to the rich. Even worse, the Republican majority rushed to a vote on it without giving the Congressional Budget Office a chance to tell us just how bad it is.

“I served for eight years as the Insurance Commissioner of California. I know exactly what insurance companies will do under policies that gives them free rein, and that’s what this bill does. The amendments that were put on this bill at the last second do nothing to reduce the devastation it will impose on America’s most vulnerable. It is a sad day in Congress.”

The bill passed by a vote of 217-213, with no Democrats voting for the bill.

Governor Jerry Brown:

Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., issued the following statement ahead of today’s vote on Trumpcare – the American Health Care Act – in the U.S. House of Representatives:

“This cruel and ill-conceived bill – the so-called American Health Care Act – rushed to a vote with no fiscal analysis, will hurt American families and it’s bad for California. Millions will lose coverage, those with pre-existing conditions will be abandoned and costs will skyrocket.

“Just look at the districts of Representatives David Valadao (R-Hanford), Jeff Denham (R-Turlock) and Steve Knight (R-Lancaster) where 111,000, 109,000 and 76,000 Californians, respectively, are at risk of losing coverage because of this legislation.

“The fig leaf amendments tacked on in the eleventh hour don’t change this massive assault on so many decent and hard-working people. Our California congressional delegation should vote no on this abomination.”

Attorney General Xavier Becerra:

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to strip health care coverage from more than five million Californians by dismantling the Affordable Care Act:

“I believe health care is a right. Today’s House vote takes a dangerous step towards jeopardizing the health security of millions of people in our state and throughout the country.

“As a Member of Congress, I was proud to help expand health coverage and lower costs for hardworking Americans. Every Member of Congress who voted for today’s bill must answer why it is good to take away an American’s access to his or her doctor. Would they do this to themselves or their family?

“As California’s Attorney General, I will use every legal tool at my disposal to safeguard the healthcare the people of our state depend on.”

Speaker Anthony Rendon:

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed Trumpcare:

“Today’s vote on Trumpcare proves that cowardice must be a pre-existing condition. Kevin McCarthy and California Republicans in Congress chose Donald Trump and Paul Ryan over the needs of their own constituents. They should be ashamed and they must be held accountable.

“Republicans voted to take away health coverage for millions of Americans, they are raising premiums on fixed-income seniors, and removing protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Trumpcare also jeopardizes coverage protections that millions of middle-class families receive through employer-based coverage, and it reduces women’s access to lifesaving care by defunding Planned Parenthood and allowing rape and domestic violence to be considered pre-existing conditions – all to give $300 billion to the wealthiest people in the country.

“This is an ugly day in America.”

Senate President Kevin De León:

California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D – Los Angeles) issued the following statement in response to the U.S. House of Representatives’ vote to approve the American Health Care Act, and repeal the Affordable Care Act:

“It’s been hard to keep track of all the broken promises during the first one hundred days of this Administration. But this one stands out as the most insidious of the lot. The President promised to improve healthcare for all Americans. He promised that every single American would have better, more affordable coverage than they had before. But now that he’s president he’s more concerned about repairing his bruised ego, no matter the cost in human lives or quality of life.

“This proposal is just a tax cut for the wealthiest Americans masquerading around as a healthcare bill. It will completely undermine the vital protections that so many Americans – Democrat, Republican, and Independent alike – rely on. The so-called American Healthcare Act would rip insurance away from millions; make insurance more expensive; hurt people with pre-existing conditions; and hurt women specifically by defunding Planned Parenthood.

“There’s no way around these facts; President Trump and Republicans in Congress know it. That’s why they refused to wait for the facts to get out before their disgraceful vote today. Trump promised something better. He lied.”



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42 thoughts on “Local Reaction to the Repeal of the Affordable Care Act”

  1. Eric Gelber

    This action was not about health care. It was phase one of the Republican plan to cut taxes on the rich. It just happened, in this instance, to be at the expense of people who are sick, poor, disabled, or elderly. The celebration at the White House for accomplishing nothing was obscene. They’ve shown their cards and will be reminded of it come the mid-term elections.

        1. Keith O

          And that’s the automatic charge by liberals that everything that the GOP does is for the rich.  It gets tiresome.

          Obamacare was imploding, you should be thanking the GOP for taking action.

          1. David Greenwald

            We should be thanking the GOP was adding millions to the uninsured list?

        2. Eric Gelber

          Obamacare was imploding …

          First, that’s patently false. Second, what House Republicans did was tantamount to throwing the baby (not to mention the sick, the poor, the disabled, and the elderly) out with the bath water.

        3. Keith O

          First, that’s patently false.

          Not false, insurers were pulling out of ACA in great numbers.

          Second, what House Republicans did was tantamount to throwing the baby (not to mention the sick, the poor, the disabled, and the elderly) out with the bath water.

          I’m surprised you also didn’t add pushing grandma off a cliff in her wheelchair.

          http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.145087.1313993831!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/article_750/alg-healthcare-ad-1-jpg.jpg

        4. Keith O

          David:

          “Poor Americans are much more likely to become uninsured under the bill, according to the Congressional Budget Office, and those who retained coverage would pay much more of their limited incomes on premiums and deductibles.”

          David, if the CBO has been anything it’s been wrong, maybe you should read this:

          Learning From CBO’s History Of Incorrect ObamaCare Projections
          As Congress readies legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates will play an important and respected role as they did in the passage of the law in 2010. We now know that many of CBO’s projections of important aspects of the ACA have significantly differed from actual outcomes. In this piece, I highlight CBO’s key past errors in projecting effects of the ACA. They can largely be grouped into two categories. First, CBO projected that the exchanges would be stable by now with more than twice as many enrollees as they currently have, rather than suffering from severe adverse selection in most states as they now are. Second, CBO projected that the ACA Medicaid expansion would be much smaller and less expensive than it has turned out to be.
          These errors were caused by two primary mistakes in CBO’s model and assumptions. First, CBO significantly overestimated the degree to which the individual mandate would induce relatively healthy people with middle class income to buy coverage in the exchanges. Second, CBO failed to anticipate that states would respond to the federal government’s elevated reimbursement rate for the Medicaid expansion by maximizing enrollment and paying insurance companies extremely high payment rates for this population. CBO has not yet explained if or how it has corrected its models for these past mistakes, but it should do so if it wants to improve confidence in its estimates of repeal and replace legislation.

          https://www.forbes.com/sites/theapothecary/2017/01/02/learning-from-cbos-history-of-incorrect-obamacare-projections/#32f4fc5446a7

      1. Jim Hoch

        Back? Thank you for the welcome anyway. I believe strongly that life belongs to those that show up and people who don’t vote, or don’t vote in their on best interests get whatever the people who do vote feel like giving them. In this case it means less and less.

  2. Keith O

    It’s really quite ironic watching this all play out.  In the 2016 election hardly any Democrats ran on Obamacare, they ran from it because they knew it was a losing issue for them.  Obviously that didn’t help them looking back at the election.

    So why is Obamacare all of a sudden the greatest thing since mom’s apple pie to them?  The answer is simple, they detest Trump at every turn.  They really don’t care if AHCA is good or bad, it’s from Trump so they must resist.

  3. Keith O

    The headline states:

    Local Reaction to the Repeal of the Affordable Care Act

    Shouldn’t it read “A Few People’s Local Reaction to the Repeal of the Affordable Care Act”

    We’re talking all of 20 or so people.

    1. Tia Will

      No Keith, we are not just talking about a few people. Before the end of March when I retired, my days were full of questions from my patients about whether or not they should have blood tests, radiology exams, other forms of cancer screening and medications starts or adjustments done before the ACA was repealed. For some, the answer was easy if we were only talking about a few months time. I would say, sure it won’t hurt to be a little early when the testing interval is measured in years, and I would order the tests.

      In other cases, it was a hard call. Some tests such as mammography are not entirely benign if done too frequently. But what do I tell the moderate to high risk woman who wants her test done 3, 6, 8 months early because she can reasonably anticipate that she will once again be off insurance at the time her regular testing is due?  Or what about the woman who does not need an IUD now, but will have to rely on PP within the next few months ?

      Here in California, it will probably have a muted impact due to the continued support for PP and with any luck with the passage of SB 562. But other states will be much more severely impacted.

      And no Keith. Many of us care very deeply about those who may be adversely affected by the AHCA. When the ACA first went into effect, I saw many women who had not had insurance for years and who had conditions that had they been treated earlier would have had much better outcomes. For many of us this has nothing to do with our personal feelings about 45 and everything about our personal and professional feelings about our patients.

      Finally, there are two other aspects of the repeal of the ACA and replacement with the current version of the AHCA that we have not spoken of here. The first is the effects on employment. In Kaiser, we had hired up significantly at all of our facilities including doctors, nurses, NPs, and all manner of support staff to meet the increased demand. Significant reductions in demand will lead to lay offs. While this will probably not affect career senior physicians, it may well lead to decreased hours and or lay offs of other staff. Finally, it does not appear that anyone is taking into account medical bankruptcy rates which are likely to increase under the proposed plan as people either spend more for life saving medical care, often at the cost of the ability to pay their mortgage or do without care at the cost of shortened life span.

  4. Sharla C.

    I have relatives who are relying on health insurance through ACA.  I am really worried for them.  They will have no options if this becomes law.

    1. Keith O

      You mean like many are faced with now with ACA and its high premiums, high deductibles, high co-pays and high yearly out of pocket?

      1. Sharla C.

        This is not the case with my son.  He has a history of asthma, so will now have a preexisting condition.   I don’t know anyone who has insurance through ACA that has the type of policy that you describe.  Now people won’t be able to access healthcare insurance at all.  This is not a fix.  It is prompted by hatred of Barak Obama, which is likely based on racism.  Representatives voted for this, knowing that their own constituents will likely suffer – all for the good of the GOP and wealthy contributors.

        1. Keith O

           It is prompted by hatred of Barak Obama, which is likely based on racism.

          Why is it with liberals/progressives/democrats that it always comes back to racism?  Is it possible that people didn’t like Obamacare because their rates went up, their co-pays went up, their yearly out of pockets doubled and their deductibles went sky high?  Is it also a possibility, other than the tired old racism charge, that people didn’t like Obamacare because Obama told everyone that they would be able to keep their doctor, keep their current insurance and promised that every family would save $2500 a year which were all found to be lies?

          Do you think it might also be that people didn’t like being forced to buy insurance or pay a fine? That catastrophic plans that were cheap and favored by young adults were no longer available?

          That many people had their hours cut so their boss wouldn’t have to pay for ACA?

        2. Don Shor

          Asthma is one of the most common, and I can affirm that it was routinely used to deny coverage as a pre-existing condition. But the list is amazingly long, and the choice of what is a pre-existing condition is up to the insurer. If this actually survives the Senate and get signed by Trump, it is a huge giveaway to the insurance industry and will wallop millions in the pocketbook as well as leave millions more uninsured.
          Fortunately California is not likely to ever allow the exemptions and set up risk pools, so this is more of an issue for folks in other states.
          The risk pools are not adequately funded and never will be.
          Here’s a list of common pre-existing conditions before the ACA:
          http://time.com/money/4763609/pre-existing-conditions-ahca/

        3. Sharla C.

          This new legislation is just cruel.  There is no defense for it.  The GOP coined the term Obamacare as a word of derision.  It has been surveyed that the majority of Americans liked the benefits of ACA, but the GOP’s relentless condemnation of “obamacare” fed right into racial bias of right-wing voters.  If this is allowed to move forward, they will suffer.  Medical related bankruptcies are way down, but this trend will be sure to reverse.  It is cruel and hurtful and people will die unnecessarily.  I don’t know how you can attempt to defend that.

           

        4. Keith O

          fed right into racial bias of right-wing voters

          So if one doesn’t like an Obama policy it must be because of racism?  Is that how it is?    Even on the Vanguard I thought we had moved past that.

        5. Sharla C.

          You must know that Obama is black and that there are many people in the U.S. who suffer racial bias.  Trump has taken advantage of that bias in every way.  ACA was a great benefit to millions of Americans.  This new legislation will take access to healthcare from an estimated 24 million Americans, including seniors, children, and working adults.  I really don’t care if people don’t like Obama or Obama’s policies.  To take away access to healthcare is just a cruel response.

        6. Keith O

          So none of the things that I cited is wrong with ACA has anything to do with people not wanting Obamacare?

          rates went up, their co-pays went up, their yearly out of pockets doubled and their deductibles went sky high

          people didn’t like Obamacare because Obama told everyone that they would be able to keep their doctor, keep their current insurance and promised that every family would save $2500 a year which were all found to be lies?
          Do you think it might also be that people didn’t like being forced to buy insurance or pay a fine? That catastrophic plans that were cheap and favored by young adults were no longer available?
          That many people had their hours cut so their boss wouldn’t have to pay for ACA?
           

      2. Tia Will

        Keith

        I believe that I have been very clear that I favor universal single payer care. I saw the ACA as a flawed step in the right direction. However, I would also point out that everything that you mentioned was an action taken by insurance companies in reaction to the ACA to maximize their profits, and not dictated to them by the ACA.

      3. Tia Will

        Keith

        I believe that I have been very clear that I favor universal single payer care. I saw the ACA as a flawed step in the right direction. However, I would also point out that everything that you mentioned was an action taken by insurance companies in reaction to the ACA to maximize their profits, and not dictated to them by the ACA.

  5. Jim Frame

    I think the ACA as passed by the House is just kabuki theater, with no realistic chance of passing the Senate in anything like its current form.  And the victory may well prove to be Pyrrhic if the GOP manages to anger enough voters to cost them control of the House in 2018.  They’re trying to roll an awful lot of people under the bus with that bill.

    1. Howard P

      Here’s an idea… let’s immediately end Congressional health plans… totally… and then if they want health insurance they can re-apply under the new rules they are contemplating… some ACA opponents should love the savings likely to be generated in gov’t ‘subsidies’ that would end…

      1. Howard P

        That’s why I said ALL Congress (duh!)… both sides of the aisle… pre-ACA was pretty disastrous for many folk… post-ACHA portends to be the same… but you have a long history of picking out “nuggets”… ACA covered folk with pre-existing conditions… ‘supposedly’ the current party-in-power supports that…

        [self-moderated]

  6. Sharla C.

    So people don’t like that they pay school bonds, so we should all vote to rescind them and let children suffer the consequences? The dream was that everyone would sign on, but insurance companies, some medical doctors, and even states refused.  I have insurance with my employer and one year I had to choose a different doctor because my plan no longer included her. This happens.  It is just not a good reason to abolish legislation that did so much good.

  7. Howard P

    Actually, to paraphrase a famous author of ~ 150 years ago, “Are there not alternatives that they could seek/obtain?  (Well yes sir, but they have pre-existing conditions, and cannot afford or obtain insurance without the sky high premiums/deductibles) Well then If they would otherwise die without health insurance,” said he, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population, and keep our premiums low!.”

    Some things don’t change…

    Think it’s fair to say Ebenezer was a fiscal conservative…

  8. Ron

    David:

    I realize this is “off-topic”, but why don’t you run a story regarding “local reaction” regarding Trump’s review of federal monuments (including our own Berryessa-Snow Mountain)?

    It appears that the “review” doesn’t even involve Congress.

    No – I’m not planning to write an article, myself. (But, it’s certainly something I’m concerned about.) You’ve created other articles regarding Trump’s plans related to immigration, health care, etc.

    Why not this topic?

      1. Ron

        Thanks, Don.  Yes – someone from Tuleyome might be a good source. (Actually, I wish that the Vanguard would solicit responses/articles from that organization more often.)

        I won’t mention it again, here.

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