Capitol Alert

AM Alert: California healthcare advocates rally against Trump

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 27, 2016.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. hamezcua@sacbee.com

They backed Obamacare, and they’re not letting it go without a fight.

The federal healthcare overhaul could be one of the first casualties of President-Elect Donald Trump, who has joined the Republicans controlling Congress in vowing to dismantle the law. Since winning the presidency Trump has softened his stance somewhat, speaking favorably about popular provisions that prohibit insurers from turning away people with pre-existing conditions and allow people to stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26.

Still, Trump’s election has California healthcare advocates on high alert, not to mention the state’s new U.S. senator. California could forfeit billions of federal dollars that support Medi-Cal, the insurance program for poor Californians, and subsidize private insurance purchases. They’re worried about the fate of Medicare, a program that Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said has “serious problems because of Obamacare” and is “going broke.”

A rally today in Los Angeles offers the latest example of a policy rift between California and Washington, D.C., with elected officials joining healthcare workers and patients for an event billed as a push to “protect our health care.” Among the expected speakers are Senate Health Committee chair Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina, Los Angeles County Health Agency Director Mitch Katz, and California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, whose public denunciations of Trump have become a recurring feature.

BY THE NUMBERS: 13.6 million is the number of Californians enrolled in Medi-Cal as of June 2016, the most recent data available, a net increase of about 800,000 from a year earlier and about double Medi-Cal enrollment a decade ago. The total includes almost 3.4 million people who became eligible for Medi-Cal under the state’s optional Obamacare expansion. The Legislative Analyst’s Office last week reported that Medi-Cal caseload should grow by about 100,000 annually through mid-2021 among families, children and people covered by ACA expansion. Enrollment among senior citizens and people with disabilities will grow by an estimated 50,000.

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Angry Kanye West fans sound off on the artist canceling his show.

MEMORIALIZED: Gov. Jerry Brown will be in Modesto this morning for the memorial service of slain Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Deputy Dennis Wallace, a shooting that the county sheriff deemed an “execution.”If you’re interested in donating some money to Wallace’s family, beware fake sites.

TO THE RACES: With the Legislature’s balance of power hinging on a state Senate race that has narrowed to a dead heat, county elections updates have become a matter of obsessive importance. We’re expecting fresh numbers today out of Los Angeles County, one of three comprising the 29th Senate District hosting a clash between Assemblywoman Ling Ling Chang, R-Diamond Bar, and Democrat Josh Newman.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert. Jim Miller of The Bee Capitol Bureau contributed to this report.

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