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It could be California screaming — the loudest — if President Donald Trump says "You're fired!" to the Affordable Care Act.
No state has seen more people get health insurance coverage as a result of Obamacare in the past three years. As a result, California stands to see the biggest increases in the number of people without health coverage if president-elect Trump follows through on threats he has made to completely repeal the ACA.
"We've basically cut the number of uninsured in a little bit more than half, which is enormous progress," Dr. Gerald Kominski, head of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, told the Los Angeles Times in a story about the threat Trump poses to the Golden State's newly insured.
"We have the most to lose," Kominski said.
The Times story notes that as of now, 4.6 million California residents have health coverage that is funded by Affordable Care Act programs. That includes people who buy private individual health insurance plans sold on the state-run Obamacare exchange, or who joined California's Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, after the ACA authorized federal funding to expand coverage to more poor people.
California would lose $20 billion in funding from the federal government if the ACA is completely repealed, the story said.
Whether Trump will actually seek full repeal after he takes office in January remains to be seen.In the past several days, Trump has made several statements about Obamacare.
In an interview with CBS's "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday night, Trump said Obamacare "will be repealed and replaced" in one fell swoop. "And it'll be great health care for much less money," Trump said.
But in an interview with the Wall Street Journal published Friday, Trump said, "Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced."
Trump's interview with the Journal came after he met with President Barack Obama at the White House last Thursday. Trump was quoted by newspaper as saying that Obama suggested keeping certain parts of the ACA, and "I told him I will look at his suggestions, and out of respect, I will do that."
Trump said he is in favor of maintaining the ACA's bar against insurers denying coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions, and also supports keeping the provision that allows adults until age 26 to be covered by their parents' health plans.