Republican Health Care Plan Would Be Devastating for County Residents

Today, four LA County Supervisors and three LA County health leaders held a press conference to alert the public as well as state and national elected officials that the County would be ground zero if the Republican health care proposal passes.

Supervisors Sheila Kuehl, Mark Ridley-Thomas, Hilda L. Solis, and Janice Hahn predicted that if the Senate plan passes, 1.2 million men and women in LA County would lose their insurance. In addition, 323,000 people would lose the subsidy that has enabled them to pay for their health insurance. Over the next several years, an estimated 4 million people, or nearly 40% of the residents of LA County, including 1.1 million children under the age of 19, would be at risk of losing their health insurance and/or will have much greater difficulty accessing vital health care services.

Supervisor Sheila Kuehl said, “The slogan for the proposed plan may as well be ‘Make America sick again.’ LA County will be especially hard hit, because, during the Medicaid expansion, we pushed hard to enroll men and women who had previously been uninsured. We cut the rate of uninsured in the County by nearly 50%. If this terrible plan passes, Medicaid, as we know it, will be virtually gutted and LA County will be ground zero for the plan’s deadly consequences.”

“Los Angeles County is effectively the epicenter of the uninsured in the nation. And pursuant to the ACA, we cut that in half and the County has been better for it,” said County Supervisor and Board Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas. “We will not retreat. We will not relent. We will fight for the people of this County because healthcare is a right, not a privilege.”

The proposed changes to health care being debated in Congress would affect not only Medicaid, but would result in higher deductibles, jeopardize women’s reproductive health care, force older people to pay more, and do away with subsidies that allowed people with limited incomes to buy insurance from private companies.

Supervisor Hilda L. Solis added, “This heartless attempt by the Trump Administration and the Republicans to ram through secret legislation will strongly undermine the progress that was started when I was a member of President Obama’s cabinet more than seven years ago. Twenty-two million people – women, seniors, low-income families, people with disabilities, undocumented immigrants,
andmany more – throughout this country will be unable to access the health care coverage they have enjoyed for the past few years, all to finance tax cuts for the richest Americans. The County and I will continue to work hard to defend the human right to affordable and accessible health care.”

“President Trump said he wants a healthcare bill with heart. But this bill is not that,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn. “This bill has no heart. This bill needs a heart transplant—a procedure average Americans will have a tough time affording if this bill passes.”