Millions of Californians Would Likely Lose Coverage Under GOP Obamacare Replacement, Experts Say

Millions of Californians would likely lose health coverage under the Obamacare replacement bill released by House Republicans this week, experts say.

The GOP alternative would undo the requirement that everyone have insurance and change how subsidies are offered through the state’s insurance marketplace, Covered California. But the biggest impact would likely be on the state’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, which provides coverage to more than a third of California’s residents.

The Affordable Care Act offered states money to allow more people into their Medicaid programs, which are jointly funded by state and federal governments. California is one of 31 states that took the deal, and now receives $15.3 billion in federal funding for the Medicaid expansion, according to the state’s Legislative Analyst’s Office.

The new bill — called the American Health Care Act — would begin phasing out federal money for the expansion starting in 2020. Though states could still let people join the program, the cut would make it likely the state would scrap the program. Approximately 3.7 million Californians have coverage through the expansion, according to state figures.

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