Robin Affrime, CEO of CommuniCare Health Centers provided a presentation to the Board of Supervisors on February 21st about the effects potential changes to the Affordable Care Act would have on Yolo County residents. CommuniCare currently serves 1 in 9 of Yolo County residents with comprehensive healthcare services.
More low income Yolo County residents became eligible for Medi-Cal through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and as a result 15,000 residents who previously were uninsured now have coverage. The number of healthcare patients assigned to CommuniCare doubled from 6,000 to 12,000 and their percentage of uninsured patients dropped from 45% to 25%.
The Affordable Care Act has brought significant savings to Yolo County government by reducing the number of uninsured medically indigent patients. The local healthcare system has experienced costs savings through patients utilizing primary care services for preventable ailments and reducing the use of expensive and unnecessary hospitalizations and services.
An example of the impact access to health care has on our community is last year a pregnant woman came to a CommuniCare center. Previously she had never been eligible for Medi-Cal as a single adult, however due to the Affordable Care Act she was eligible for full scope Medi-Cal. As her pregnancy progressed she was diagnosed with a heart problem that was high risk for the pregnancy and thanks to her health coverage she was referred to a cardiologist. Access to this specialty care prevented severe complications for both her and her baby’s lives.
Repeal of the ACA without an adequate replacement or reduction of federal funding would increase the number of uninsured residents, decrease the health benefits gained through the expanded coverage, result in substantial costs to county government, and could potentially mean the loss of 700 jobs in our community.
CommuniCare hopes to bring a resolution to the Board of Supervisors at a future date that expresses support of no repeal of the Affordable Care Act without a replacement that covers low income residents. I look forward to working with our community partners to continue to provide access to quality health care for all Yolo County residents.
On March 12th from 2:30 to 5:30 pm at the Veteran’s Memorial Center in Davis I will join Congressman Garamendi and a panel of outstanding speakers to examine options to support our community’s health care needs. I hope you can join us. Learn more and RSVP here.