Senate Health Committee Convenes Affordable Care Act Hearing in Kern County

Yesterday, the California Senate Health Committee convened a hearing in Kern County – home to United States House of Representatives Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy – discussing the risks to California should the Federal Government repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Assembly Member Joaquin Arambula, a Central Valley native and former emergency room physician, joined the Senate Health Committee for the hearing.  Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez provided opening remarks regarding the potential impact to her county residents and health system.  The hearing included testimonies from consumers who shared their appreciation for and fear of losing the coverage afforded them through the ACA. Representatives from the Department of Health Care Services and Covered California provided overviews of the coverage offered through their respective programs. Deborah Kelch, Executive Director of the Insure the Uninsured Project (ITUP), illustrated and reminded the Committee of the coverage gaps that existed prior to the ACA. Tony Iton, Senior Vice President of Healthy Communities at the California Endowment, shared new research regarding lower life expectancies of Central Valley residents and emphasized the need for health to be perceived as a bipartisan issue. The Committee also heard testimony focused on provider impacts from the California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH) and others representing the provider community.

Members of the Senate Health Committee and Assembly Member Arambula underscored the leadership California has shown in implementing the Affordable Care Act, their concern surrounding a potential repeal of the ACA, and their commitment to every consumer having access to affordable health coverage.

The Committee hearing can be viewed here.