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Post-Election California: The State of Health Care

Whenever a new president is elected, one can expect major changes to domestic policy – especially where healthcare is concerned. However, in this election, the state of health care is extremely uncertain. President-elect Donald Trump promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), which could have a big impact on California’s healthcare system. The following are ways in which California health care could be affected by this election:

The Restructuring of California’s Private Insurance Market

Obamacare created health insurance marketplaces as a way to expand insurance coverage and provide financial assistance for qualifying lower-income individuals. California was the first state to authorize a state-based health insurance marketplace, which it coined “Covered California.” As of earlier this year, it had 1.4 million people enrolled. Around 90 percent of these people receive premium assistance and/or cost-sharing reductions. The marketplace was built on the mandate created by Obamacare, which means it would need to adjust to any changes made. If it’s unable to adjust, it would require state funding to continue.

Uncertainty Over California Health Care Laws

The California legislature adopted many Obamacare provisions as California law, thereby allowing its regulators, such as the Department of Insurance and the Department of Healthcare Services, to enforce them. Many of these statutes not only directly reference Obamacare provisions, they are contingent on their continued existence. Depending on what happens to Obamacare, many of these laws could end up becoming open to interpretation or even repealed as a result.

The Medi-Cal Expansion Population May See Reduced Funding

Obamacare included a major expansion to the Medicaid program by including adults earning upwards of 138 percent of the federal poverty level. Since California authorized this expansion, Medi-Cal has grown from 7.7 million enrollees to 11.8 million. Obamacare required federal support for the expansion population on a sliding scale. This means that continued implementation of Medi-Cal is heavily dependent on federal funding.

These are a few ways in which California health care could be affected by the recent election. Stay up to date on the latest health care news by visiting The Benefits Store today.


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