Local Officials Rally Against Obamacare Replacement Bill

 SACRAMENTO -- Congresswoman Doris Matsui, flanked by supporters, local and state lawmakers and health advocates held a rally at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento Friday to drum up opposition to the Graham Cassidy Affordable Care Act Replacement bill.

"We know that it would cut Medicaid, which would ration care to low income women, children, seniors," Matsui, D-Sacramento, said.

Matsui, along with Mayor Darrell Steinberg, state assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) and State Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) all spoke out against the effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," calling it a political move and an attempt to keep a campaign promise as opposed to good legislation for the American people.

"This bill is horrible," Matsui said.

The congresswoman was urging people to become vocal and call congressmen and senators to oppose it in both chambers.

Charis Hill, an advocate suffering from ankylosing spondylitis spoke Friday as well.

"Health care is a human rights issue," Hill said. "And my life is being threatened."

Health officials have estimated that California could stand to lose between $65 to $78 billion in health care funding, and upwards of 7 million people would be at risk of losing coverage in California if the bill becomes law.

They also said the bill gets rid of Medicaid expansion funding to a number of states, including California, which funnels funding into Medical. It would instead offer block grants to each state, and state lawmakers would have more autonomy with how the money is spent on health care services.

The bill gets rid of the individual mandate, which requires people to have health insurance, officials reported. It also rids of the small business mandate that requires small businesses of a certain size to provide health care to employees.

Coverage would not be denied for pre-existing conditions under the proposed bill unless states decide to waive those protections and allow insurance companies to cap how much coverage insurers can provide.

"We're not gonna be able to afford to help families who have parents who need nursing home care," Pan said. "We need to kill the bill before the bill kills us."

"I feel like they're not thinking about me," Hill said. "But I'm just trying to survive, this is my job."