Republican leaders made more changes to their proposed legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act, though the amendments didn’t impress advocates who want to preserve the gains of Obamacare in California.
House Speaker Paul Ryan called for more support in the bill to make insurance affordable for older adults. In addition, the changes would accelerate tax cuts for the wealthy and health care corporations, give states more flexibility in spending health care funds and allow them to tie work requirements to Medicaid benefits.
The House of Representatives is set for a vote Thursday on the “repeal and replace” legislation.
“All of the fundamental problems of the House bill are not addressed,” said Edwin Park, vice president of health policy for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
The impact on the Medi-Cal program and safety-net system is of paramount concern in California, where 14 million children and adults rely on the health program, and in Stanislaus County, which has 45 percent of its population in the program.
Jen Flory of Western Center on Law and Poverty said the ACA resulted in a streamlined application for getting people into the appropriate health program and made it easier to stay in programs. But that could be undone with the GOP bill.
It also would lower a Medi-Cal cap on home equity for people needing nursing home care, forcing people to sell their home and spend assets to get into a nursing home, Flory said.