The threatened repeal of the Affordable Care Act could cost California as many as 209,000 jobs, researchers at UC Berkeley predict.
The total cost to the state GDP of axing Obamacare — a move backed by President-elect Donald Trump — would be more than $20 billion, according to a report from the university’s Center for Labor Research and Education.
The damage won’t stop there, researchers warn. State and local governments would lose $1.5 billion in tax revenue as a result of declines in income tax, sales tax and other revenue.
“California has made tremendous gains since 2014 in reducing inequities in access to health insurance,” said Laurel Lucia, co-author of the report. “If Congress repeals the ACA, those historic coverage gains would be reversed at the same time that Congress cuts taxes for insurers and high-income households.”
The impact would be felt most in California counties with high Medi-Cal enrollment, UC Berkeley researchers said.
An ACA repeal would, of course, mostly harm workers in the health-care industry, which is estimated to lose 135,000 of the 209,000 eliminated jobs.
The biggest blow would be a reduction of $20.5 billion in annual federal funding if the next Congress ends the expansion of Medi-Cal that serves 3.7 million Californians and the subsidies for more than 1 million low- and middle-income individuals purchasing health insurance through Covered California.