ince the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, California residents have benefited in staggering numbers. As a result of the ACA, more than 5 million Californians have access to healthcare, some $20 billion has been infused into the state’s healthcare system, and statewide, our uninsured rates have dropped to historic lows — from more than 17 percent to nearly 7 percent.
As Mayors from across the state, we are proud to be among the California cities that supported the ACA from its inception, and we are uniting together in support of this landmark law.
Prior to the passage of the ACA, insurance companies could deny coverage to residents who suffered from cancer, HIV or depression. Simply being a woman could result in more expensive insurance rates.
Previously, health insurance providers offered a patchwork of benefits, with no national standard for quality. We lacked annual caps on out-of-pocket expenses, and exorbitant healthcare costs were a leading factor in personal bankruptcies. The ACA helped set new standards for comprehensive insurance products and protections against catastrophic costs.
If the ACA is repealed without a substantive replacement, public and private hospitals will suffer, local government costs will increase, and of course, our residents will lose quality coverage.
Despite the prospect of those devastating consequences, some California Congressional members remain intent on dismantling the law to the detriment of California’s economy and our residents’ health and well-being.
Tomorrow, February 22, is a nationwide Mayors’ Day of Action on healthcare and the ACA. We are asking you to join us as we urge those members of Congress to support access to healthcare for all. Help us protect the progress we have made on healthcare access.
We’ll be hosting a virtual phone bank, where residents can seek out contact information for California’s Congressional Representatives. That virtual phone bank can be accessed at bit.ly/2lDvQVB.
We must remind our delegates that their votes affect us and that we are all in this together. Congressional Representatives who undermine the ACA are not only voting against the health of their constituents, but the health of all Californians.
When we work together, Californians can accomplish great feats. We’re confident that standing together, we can save the ACA.
Edwin M. Lee
Mayor of San Francisco
Mayor of Union City
Mayor of West Sacramento
Mayor of Los Angeles
Mayor of Santa Barbara
Mayor of Oakland
Mayor City of Davis
Mayor of San Jose