Editor’s Note: As the House of Representatives prepares for a vote on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, Coachella Uninc. spoke to local advocates and healthcare providers to ask how repealing the ACA would impact the Eastern Coachella Valley. Read their responses below:
“If TrumpCare repeals the ACA, rolls back the Medi-Cal expansion, and if Congress doesn’t fix the primary care funding cliff by this fall, millions of California’s will lose access to healthcare, the state will lose 27,000 good jobs, and the economy will take a $3.8 billion-a-year hit or more.
While we haven’t calculated the actual cost for Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo (CDSDP), we must assume that we will be impacted by any reduction on funding. We believe a simple repeal [of the ACA] would be devastating to so many people not just in the Coachella Valley but across the country. We have to believe that our members of Congress do not wish to disenfranchise anyone from their health coverage. Working with the community, we will do our utmost to ensure that our workforce remains in place and that we can fulfill our mission of serving anyone in the community.”
— Claudia F. Gálvez, Chief Officer of Government & Community Affairs for CDSDP
“The repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the bringing in of the American Health Care Act will really make a shift in where investment is going to be made in the long term for Medi-Cal and also for maintaining the Medi-Cal expansion that a lot of low income, people of color in the Eastern Coachella Valley qualify for. Also, there’s going to be less funding in the long term, because of the way Medi-Cal is going to be reimbursed. It is going to be more of a block grant, which has a cap of how much is coming in, versus the matching funds, which would be a higher amount if the state invests more then the federal government matches it.
In the long term, California will be impacted if we’re not getting the Medi-Cal federal dollars. The state is going to have to make some decisions about whether we are we going to be stricter about the eligibility for Medi-Cal and that might lessen enrollment. And then we also need to figure out how much funding are we going to have left over for Health4All Kids and other state-run programs that open up health care access for our undocumented folks.
In the end, whatever happens at the federal level with the ACA, we on the local level are going to continue putting pressure on our elected officials and we’re planning a series of series of town halls here in the Coachella Valley. We’re going to be having a town hall with Congressman Ruiz about this issue. Some of us are also working at the state level to see what can the state do to be investing more of our dollars to include healthcare for everyone.”
— Maribel Nunez, Director of California Partnership (CAP)