“Cost” Debate Continues, but Future of ACA will Consume Considerable Attention

Jan. 19, 2017

Against an evolving legislative and political backdrop, the health plans and labor unions continue their unrelenting campaign to convince policymakers that the price of medicinal therapies is the primary driver of cost increases in the healthcare system. Further complicating things, activity at the federal level around the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has the potential to throw California’s healthcare policy agenda into turmoil at any given time.

In response to negative media coverage and PR campaigns, CLSA continues to produce and disseminate our own materials highlighting the importance of protecting access and innovation, debunking misleading information, and calling out actions by others that may harm patients.

As to the ACA, the Governor, Insurance Commissioner and Majority Legislative Leaders have already expressed deep concerns related to the impacts that a repeal of the ACA would have on millions of Californians to U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R – CA).  Although the future of the ACA is unknown, the inter, and intra-party politics involved will likely be on public display as much as the policy debate.

To illustrate these points, on Jan. 19, the Senate Health Committee held an informational hearing in Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s district to discuss what health plans, providers, and other stakeholders have done to implement the ACA in California, the benefits health care coverage has had for Californians, and what is at stake should the U.S. Congress and Trump Administration follow through as to repeal plans.

CLSA continues to closely monitor the state response on the ACA.  Where appropriate, CLSA will weigh in on ACA-related issues in the critical context of preserving and promoting Californians’ access to therapies.

One thing is for certain: this is already shaping up to be one of the most politically contentious years on healthcare between California and the federal government in recent memory.

Questions? Please contact Brett Johnson, CLSA’s Director, State & Local Government Policy (