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California, which aggressively embraced the Affordable Care Act, may have dodged a bullet when a Republican bid to “repeal and replace” the law failed last week. About 5 million residents in the state receive health insurance coverage through expanded eligibility for Medi-Cal or subsidies for private plans available through Obamacare.
But the future of health care under the Trump administration nevertheless remains a murky picture, especially for women. Worried about access to birth control after the election, some Californians rushed to get IUDs, which can be effective contraceptives for up to a decade.
And efforts to block Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funding are still very much alive in Congress. That would create a $260 million budget hole for the organization’s California affiliate, which in addition to performing abortions, provides reproductive health services for many of the state’s low-income women. The Legislature, very friendly territory for Planned Parenthood, may feel pressure to step in and fill the gap, just as the governor is warning against new spending amid shaky fiscal conditions.
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Those concerns will be addressed at a community forum to discuss “what's at stake for women's health in the new political climate,” 2 p.m. at East Los Angeles Community College in Monterey Park. The event is hosted by Sens. Ed Hernandez, D-Azusa, and Holly Mitchell, D-Los Angeles, and the California Legislative Women’s Caucus.
WORTH REPEATING: “Failure is always an option.” – Gov. Jerry Brown, noting sarcastically that it will be difficult to wrangle enough votes for the tax increases in a long-awaited transportation plan
LET IT SNOW: California doesn’t need a survey to know it’s having a phenomenal snow year. Just look at the mountains, which are piled high with tens of feet more than during recent winters of drought, so thick that ski resorts are considering staying open into the summer. How good, though? The Department of Water Resources will conduct its fourth manual snow survey of the season, 11 a.m. at Phillips Station. Statewide electronic readings show California snowpack at 160 percent of the historical average for this time of year.
I THINK I CAN: Will high-speed rail service ever come to California? Two years after construction began in the Central Valley on the first segment of the planned statewide line, money problems, legal challenges and growing opposition still bring the project’s survival into constant doubt. (In a strange twist of fate for California, the bullet train’s best hope for completion may now be President Donald Trump.) Plans for a 30-mile segment between Los Angeles and Anaheim are currently being presented to the public. A series of meetings throughout the region begins today, 5:30 p.m. at the SoCal Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles.
BY THE NUMBERS: California’s general fund revenues grew to $117.6 billion last fiscal year, an increase of 0.7 percent, according to the Comprehensive Annual Fiscal Report issued Wednesday by Controller Betty Yee. But that gain was considerably slower than 2014-15, which saw revenues jump by 10 percent. The state is hitting an “economic plateau,” Yee warned, and must plan to “weather the inevitable storm” ahead.
WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE BAKERSFIELD: Former Assemblywoman Shannon Grove is looking to mount her political comeback in 2018 by running for the Bakersfield-area Senate seat currently held by Senate Republican Leader Jean Fuller. She’ll get a hand from two-time presidential candidate and former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, who plans to join Grove for two fundraisers over the next two days. Tickets for a dinner at Madorom Winery in Napa tonight run from $250 to $2,000, including a VIP reception and photo. Then they’ll head down to the Buck Owens Crystal Palace in Bakersfield for breakfast tomorrow, which will cost supporters between $50 and $4,400, including a VIP coffee and photo.
MUST READ: Sanctuary cities are not as popular as you might think in California.