Health Policy Updates

Update #4


What is happening at the Federal level?

The House has passed our of two committees pieces of a bill that would make major destructive changes to the Affordable Care Act. To learn more, please click here

What is happening at the State level?

Governor Brown and other state leaders issued a strong message against the above actions:

“More than any other state, California has embraced the Affordable Care Act,” I intend to join with other Governors and Senators, and with you, to do everything we can to protect the health care of our people.”

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra issued the following statement: “Executive orders do not change existing law. Executive orders cannot contradict existing law. And Executive orders can be challenged for violating constitutional and legal standards in their enforcement. 

The California Department of Justice (DOJ) is prepared to protect the public safety and general welfare of all Californians as well as their privacy and property rights. These are rights and protections which have survived numerous legal challenges over time. And they are grounded on our federal and state constitutions not on an executive pronouncement.”

What is happening at the local/regional level?

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, in a statement in coordination with San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said:  “Together, the Bay Area will stay true to our values of inclusiveness, compassion and equality, and united against any and all efforts to divide our residents, our cities, and our country.” 

It is not yet clear how much Federal money President Trump could legally withhold from Sanctuary Cities.





Update # 2


What is happening at the Federal level?

“Any significant delay between repeal of the ACA and clarity over what will replace it would likely lead insurers to exit the marketplaces in droves,” Levitt told The Huffington Post. “Insurers have been sticking it out for the promise of future profits, but if the future becomes uncertain, they’ll have little reason to stay in the market.”  Larry Levitt, senior vice president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

Republicans are discussing the possibility of creating a two to three year delay in order to come up with a viable replacement plan even if they repeal the ACA immediately.  There is increasing recognition that the new administration cannot abandon the 20 million people covered by the ACA without a concrete plan for how to replace it.

What is happening at the State level?

At a recent symposium in Sacramento in honor of Health Access’ 30th anniversary, state leaders in health care such as Senator Ricardo Lara and Senator Ed Hernandez reiterated their support for moving forward with health care for all.  However, there is reason for concern that there may be political will but not enough money to continue California’s excellent progress in reducing the uninsured. On January 10, 2017 the Governor will present the State of the State and soon after, the Governor’s proposed state budget, which may begin looking for cost savings in Medi-Cal even before there are Federal cuts.

What is happening at the local level?

The San Francisco Department of Public Health and the San Francisco Health Plan have begun a new program to help make Covered California affordable, given the high cost of living in San Francisco.  For those who live and work in San Francisco and whose employers contribute to the City Option program, the  City Option Covered MRA adds a local subsidy on top of the Federal subsidy. However, this program can only be used in conjunction with enrollment in Covered California.  For those not yet enrolled in Covered California, open enrollment goes until January 31, 2017. 

For more information, please see