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How Will The Planned Repeal Of Obamacare Affect Californians?

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As federal lawmakers debate the fate of Obamacare this month, health coverage for millions of Californians hangs in the balance.

Covered California, the state health insurance exchange, and the expansion of Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program for low-income residents, are products of the Affordable Care Act. Both could be at risk if the GOP-led Congress and President-elect Donald Trump gut key pieces of the health law.

Earlier this week, California Healthline Senior Correspondent Emily Bazar discussed the future of Obamacare coverage in California on Valley Public Radio’s Valley Edition program.

So far, answers remain elusive.

For instance, if federal lawmakers kill the tax credits that have subsidized health insurance premiums for those who qualify, “what happens … to the people who purchase the plans on Covered California? Will they just have to pay out of pocket?” she said. “So many people just won’t be able to afford that.”

She also pointed out the uncertain future of the Medi-Cal expansion, which provided coverage to millions of previously ineligible Californians.

“There are just so many huge questions,” she said, because  the program depends on federal dollars.

Bazar, who writes the Ask Emily column, also discussed two recent columns that addressed the future of health coverage for immigrants and controversial new rules about recovering money from the estates of Medi-Cal patients after their deaths.

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