California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is on the warpath over Republicans’ plan to dismantle the Obamacare system.
Jones, left, who has regulatory oversight over health-insurance plans sold in the state, is running for attorney general in the 2018 election.
Earlier in the week, Republicans outlined their plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, dubbed the American Health Care Act.
“The House Republican … repeal proposal is bad for Californians and all Americans,” Jones charged in response. “Today, we have the lowest uninsured rate in our nation’s history. The House GOP proposal would reverse much of the progress we’ve made.”
Jones continued: “The House Republican proposal will deprive many Californians of coverage they need to prevent or fight illness and create significant financial burdens for others.”
Jones said the GOP propsal “will put coverage out of reach for some families who have coverage today” and “expose older Californians to substantially increased insurance premiums.”
Referring to the state’s successful Obamacare operation, Jones said that under the GOP plan, “the cost-sharing assistance enjoyed by half of those getting a premium subsidy through Covered California is eliminated entirely.”
The California Department of Insurance is the largest consumer protection agency in California.
She said the health care changes threaten to be “the reverse Robin Hood. It represents the biggest shift of money and benefits to the wealthiest people in our country — the top 1 percent — at the cost of working families in our country.”
Pelosi told reporters that the flow of money would, however, head toward California:
“The way they wrote the bill, the richest in America will get a big tax break and it will come at the expense of benefits being deprived of middle and low income families. Many of those families are in red states that voted for Donald Trump. So the money will go to California, New York and states like that where the wealthiest individuals are, and the benefits will come away from the red states.”
Pelosi again called for a review of the plan by the Congressional Budget Office. “What is it that the Republicans want to hide now? Is it the number of people who will lose their insurance?”
U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, the driving force behind the GOP health plan, said it “protects young adults, patients with pre-existing conditions, and provides a stable transition so that no one has the rug pulled out from under them.”
“Obamacare is rapidly collapsing,” Ryan said.
Some California politicians have called for establishment of a single-payer healthcare system in the state, a move backed by Commissioner Jones. “That’s the way we have to go,” he told reporters March 8.