The stakes have never been higher for the millions of Californians who rely on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for access to the vital health care services they and their loved ones count on every day. As the U.S. Supreme Court weighs the future of the ACA, one point is clear: this momentous law has become part of the fabric of our entire health care system.
So many things we all count on could be upended if the ACA is overturned:
- Guaranteed coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, including almost 950,000 people who have contracted COVID-19.
- The ability of 2 million young adults under age 26 to remain on their parents’ health plans.
- The expansion of Medi-Cal to nearly 4 million low-income Californians, including single childless adults between 19-25 with incomes up to 138% of the Federal Poverty Level.
- Subsidies through Covered California to make individual health insurance more affordable.
- Enhanced Medicare payments to hospitals, doctors and other providers that help ensure seniors have access to the care they need, when they need it.
Cutting through all the partisanship, politics, and legal arguments, the ACA is really about one thing: people. Without the ACA, millions of Californians who rely on its protections will be sicker, their ability to provide for their families will be at risk, and they will face an uncertain future.
With so much at stake, we hope the Supreme Court rules to protect the health of all Californians.
“Getting money to buy an individual plan isn’t the same as participating in a large group plan offered by an employer, said Jen Flory, a policy advocate at the Western Center on Law & Poverty, a nonprofit organization that advocates for low-income Californians and opposes Proposition 22.
…The deductible on a Covered California bronze plan for an individual in 2021 will be $6,300 for medical services plus $500 for prescription drugs. Proposition 22 ties the stipend “to the highest deductible, highest out-of-pocket plans on the market,” Flory said. “And it’s for workers who aren’t making a whole lot of money.”
This has been a banner year for making health care more accessible and affordable in California, according to consumer and health advocacy groups.
The open enrollment period for CoveredCA, which started this week, was expanded significantly – so people can now sign up for subsidized coverage on the individual market through end of January.
The state also expanded Medi-Cal to all low-income people under age 26, regardless of immigration status.
… Linda Nguy, policy advocate at the Western Center on Law and Poverty, praises a new bill to require better data sharing and implicit bias training for health care providers, in order to reduce the mortality rates for black women in childbirth.
“We’ve seen in California that, while the state has drastically decreased maternal mortality, for black women, the maternal mortality rates remain three to four times higher than for other women,” she states.