Calling the Republican congressional leadership’s health care plan an “insult to democracy itself,” Gov. Jerry Brown warned Wednesday that the proposal would shift $6 billion in costs a year to California’s state government by 2020.
“It’s real when you, all of a sudden, send a $6 billion tax bill to the state of California,” Brown said in an interview after he delivered remarks alongside fellow Democrats who were on Capitol Hill to mark the seventh anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.
“This is devastating,” he said.
On the eve of the vote on the proposed GOP replacement for Obamacare, Brown’s administration released an analysis concluding that the annual costs to the state would grow to $24.3 billion by 2027. California embarked on one of the most aggressive implementations of the ACA, with about 4 million residents now covered under its provisions. Most of those receive health benefits through Medi-Cal, the state’s version of the federal Medicaid program for the poor and disabled.
Brown delivered a fiery speech at the Obamacare celebration, which featured former Vice President Joe Biden.
“This a dangerous bill, written by people who don’t know what the hell they’re talking about,” said the governor to applause from the politicians and the crowd gathered on the Capitol’s east steps.
The Brown administration’s analysis highlights the Republican plan’s requirement that states repay any Medicaid spending above newly imposed federal caps. It would also limit federal dollars spent on any new enrollees in the state’s Medi-Cal program after 2019.
Brown has sidestepped any direct criticism of President Donald Trump while in Washington this week but urged the Republican leader to hold true to his campaign promise of providing health care coverage for every American.
“This is a death, disease and suffering bill,” the governor said of the GOP plan as he made his way to a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y. “Mr. Trump should really wake up and change his mind.”