Jun 27 2017
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today spoke to reporters about the devastating effects of the Republican Senate health care bill. Her remarks follow:
“Senator Harris, Governor Brown and I are united in our opposition to the Republican health care plan. It’s the most indefensible bill I’ve actually seen in 24 years in the Senate.
Just this week, the CBO released a score which really tells the story. And here’s the bottom line: 22 million Americans would lose their health coverage by 2026. That’s between 3 and 4 million in California, with 1.6 million losing insurance next year.
California would see the nation’s biggest increase in the number of uninsured people next year.
Medicaid would be cut by $772 billion. This means that California would have to replace around $24 billion in federal dollars by 2026, and I’m sure the governor will speak to that.
Here’s another one: Premiums in the individual market, if this bill passes, will increase, it’s estimated, by $619 next year.
Health plans today are required to cover 70 percent of health care costs. But under the Republican bill, that falls to just 58 percent of costs.
Blue Cross says that this means deductibles of $7,350. Now what does that mean? That’s essentially a junk plan that no one who’s low- or middle-income would even buy.
Our hospitals that I’ve spoken with, particularly rural hospitals, would be devastated. They would face $1.4 billion more in uncompensated care next year alone. This, candidly, increases the likelihood that some would not survive.
The bottom line is this: California would pay more for less.
For example, Medicaid covers 1 in 3 of all Californians. That means 14 million people would be at risk of losing coverage.
3 in 5 nursing home beds could be jeopardized. 1 in 2 people with disabilities could lose care. 1 in 2 children now covered by Medi-Cal, that’s more than 5 million children who could lose their health care.
And between 40 to 80 percent of children who visit our children’s hospitals are covered by Medi-Cal. Some hospitals in this category will likely not be able to keep their doors open.
4 million people in L.A. County lose care. 900,000 people in San Diego. And it goes on and on.
All of these cuts are used for one reason, they’re used to make the top 1 percent even richer by giving them billions in tax breaks.
Simply stated, this is a terrible bill and we must defeat it, and I am so glad that both the governor and my friend and colleague Senator Harris are on board to do just that.
Hopefully, between the three of us, we’ll achieve our goal.”