Health Policy Updates

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. 

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