The Protect the Health Care Safety Net Coalition issued the following statement in response to passage of state budget trailer bills SB 80 and AB 85 today. The group includes counties, providers, labor and consumers, and advocated as a group for funding to provide public health and health care services to the 3-4 million residents in California who will remain outside Affordable Care Act coverage and continue to depend on the safety net.
“Our coalition worked very closely with the Administration and legislators to reach agreement on budget language that minimizes the impact original proposals in the May Revise would have had on public health and the local health care safety net.
“While our coalition would have preferred using the Affordable Care Act as an opportunity to further expand health care, we are hopeful that this agreement will allow us to maintain the safety net and critical public health functions that all Californian’s rely on.
“More than 3-4 million residents in California will remain outside the ACA, even after full implementation. They still will need health care services and still will continue to be the responsibility of counties.
“On top of that, counties also provide public health services such trauma and burn care, disease tracking and prevention services, and many other services that everyone uses, including those with insurance.
“Funding must be maintained to provide these critical services.
“Implementation of the Affordable Care Act is a massive undertaking, one that brings great promise to get more people insured, but also represents a move into uncharted territory. Each and every one of the partners in the Protect the Health Care Safety Net coalition remains committed to successful implementation of the law and increasing health care coverage for all. Members of the coalition will continue to work together to achieve these goals.”