Medical Workers Rally for Healthcare Coverage After Passage of AHCA
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Healthcare workers will be gathering in front of Contra Costa Regional Medical Center (CCRMC) in Martinez today at noon to express their concerns about the impact of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) on patients and the community.
Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed the AHCA, which would potentially eliminate protections for patients with pre-existing medical conditions and gut funding for Medicaid, known as Medi-Cal in California.
Under the AHCA, more than 100,000 Contra Costa County residents could lose health coverage, including 72,000 people who have gained coverage through Medi-Cal expansion. CCRMC, the county hospital, serves a large number of Medi-Cal patients.
"The cuts to Medicaid and high levels of uncompensated care this bill would create put our mission to care for the most vulnerable in jeopardy," said Dr. Ori Tzvieli, ambulatory care medical director for CCRMC & Health Centers. "Our patients are worried they will lose their coverage and will be left unable to treat conditions such as asthma, high blood pressure and diabetes."
The AHCA would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, which provides subsidies for low-income people to get private health insurance and makes it easier to qualify for Medi-Cal. Since the ACA went into effect in 2014, CCRMC & Health Centers has more than doubled its number of empaneled patients to nearly 140,000 as a result of Medi-Cal expansion.
CCHS Director Dr. William Walker said he's working with national and state partners to try and preserve access to affordable healthcare. "Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water," Dr. Walker said. "We should work to improve the ACA instead of passing a bill that will punish sick Americans and the poor."
The rally will take place from noon – 1 p.m. today (May 10) at CCRMC, 2500 Alhambra Ave., Martinez.
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