LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Republicans in the House Thursday moved one step closer to repealing and replacing Obamacare.
After scores of tries, missteps and false starts the GOP got the votes Thursday — albeit by a slim margin 217-213.
The Senate has to also pass the bill and depending on who you talk to, it’s not as likely that is going to happen.
Still, California now has to brace for the fallout if and when Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, is no more.
President Trump ran on the repeal of the Obama legacy program.
On the campaign trail, then candidate Trump made health care sound easy.
“Your premiums they’re going to start to come down,” he said. After taking office, he said he didn’t realize how “hard” the health care system was.
While the GOP, House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Republicans insist premiums will come down, CBS 2 and KCAL 9 reporter Randy Paige spoke to some health care experts who expect the opposite to happen.
“By encouraging younger and healthier people to stay out of the market, prices will shoot up for those who decide to buy and there will be less federal money available to help you purchase coverage,” says Consumer Watchdog and policy expert Jerry Flanagan.
The expert also said it’s pretty universal among health care providers — the new plan is not a good one.
“The health insurers hate it, the doctors hate it, the hospital groups hate it and frankly the patient groups hate it as well,” Flanagan said.
“I don’t think the House of Representatives heard our plea,” said Children’s Hospital Los Angeles President and CEO Paul Viviano.
He said as many as 4.5 million people in California were able to afford coverage as a result of Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act and a third of those on the plan are children.
“They’d lose their health care coverage,” Viviano says, “that would be a bad day for families, and for children.”
Viviano adds, “The bottom line is less money is going to be forthcoming from the federal government to pay for healthcare coverage for the needy, the poor and especially for children.”
House majority leader Kevin McCarthy (-Bakersfield) says don’t forget about the people suffering under Obamacare — as health insurers abandon the marketplace.
“Every day that goes forward, somebody loses their health care because of Obamacare,” he said.
Meanwhile, back on the ground, KCAL 9’s Tom Wait spoke to people scared they would be losing their coverage.
“I lost some cognitive powers, but I also lost a lot of my vision,” says 50-year-old Michael Shutt.
Three strokes have left Shutt with a long recovery and massive hospital bills.
“I think the first medical bill that came to the house was for $500,000,” Shutt says.
He worked as a bartender in Beverly Hills. The strokes in his late 40s, made it impossible for him to work. His Cobra insurance is about to run out and he told Wait he’s now looking under Obamacare — and he’s understandably scared.
“If they strip away the protections for pre-existing condition, I can’t imagine that there’s going to be anyone who will insure me,” he said.