Gov. Jerry Brown warns of major ripple effects in California if Obamacare is repealed

[Source: The Los Angeles Times] Gov. Jerry Brown issued a terse but pointed response Friday to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s request for input on repealing the Affordable Care Act, warning of spiraling damage to healthcare coverage, premium costs and the state budget.

Brown’s letter to McCarthy argued that repealing Obamacare without an alternative plan would lead to instability in the commercial insurance market. He also warned of returning to an era where emergency room care is a fallback for many.

“California stands ready to work with you and your colleagues to find decent and real solutions,” he wrote. “But I implore you: don’t just shift billions of dollars of costs to the state. That would be a very cynical way to prop up the federal budget – and devastating to millions of Americans.”

Brown’s clipped response contrasted with that of another California official’s response, state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

In an 18-page missive (complete with five additional pages of footnotes) sent on Thursday, Jones argued that repealing the landmark 2010 law would “return to a time when the shadow of financial catastrophe loomed over every family.”

Jones took particular aim at insurance-related changes that some conservatives have proposed: allowing insurance to be sold across state lines and high-risk pools to insure the sickest individuals.

Of the former, Jones said such a proposal — in which insurers could offer policies without needing to conform to the laws in the states where they’re sold — would hurt California’s ability to enforce its own insurance regulations.

And Jones said high-risk pools are “doomed to failure” as a substitute for Obamacare, because of the high costs associated with treating the sickest patients.

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Senate Health Committee Chairman Ed Hernández of West Covina chimed in earlier this week with their own letter to McCarthy, touting California’s embrace of the Affordable Care Act.

McCarthy’s letter, sent last month, was addressed to governors and insurance commissioners in each state, setting Friday as the deadline for a response.

Source: The Los Angeles Times
Jan. 13, 2017, 3:31 p.m.