Repealing the Affordable Care Act: What’s at Stake in Los Angeles County?

Posted: January 18, 2017

By Louise McCarthy, MPP, CCALAC President and CEO

Here in Los Angeles, across California and throughout the United States, non-profit community clinics and health centers provide quality care to all, regardless of ability to pay. From the Antelope Valley to Long Beach, and from Venice to the San Gabriel Valley, LA’s clinics have been working tirelessly to transform and improve care for our County’s most vulnerable. But coverage matters: clinics cannot expand or improve care if everyone is uninsured.

There is so much at stake when it comes to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act: lives are at stake; jobs are at stake; and our economy is at stake.

Lives are at stake. 
In Los Angeles County, 1.5 million residents received coverage through Medicaid or Covered California. One in three Californians is now on Medicaid, and here in Los Angeles County 40 percent of our population now relies on that program for their coverage. Patients using health centers went majority uninsured to majority insured – 57 percent  of LA clinic patients now rely on Medicaid for their care. Thanks to these expansions in coverage, clinics were able to serve 23 percent more patients and improve the quality of services provided. Clinics now serve over 1.5 million Angelenos each year. These expansions are unsustainable under repeal.

Jobs are at stake. 
Health care is a major employment sector in Los Angeles, and health care comprises the bulk of our middle skill job growth. These are the jobs that offer communities a hand up out of poverty. There are now nearly 600,000 health care jobs in LA, and 63,000 of these jobs are at stake under partial repeal.
With their expansions in patients and services, clinics have created jobs in their communities. The Antelope Valley Community Health Center – serving Palmdale and Lancaster – went from 25 to 235 employees during the past five years; East Valley Community Health Center in the San Gabriel Valley went from 128 to 233 employees; JWCH Institute, serving Skid Row and many underserved areas in Los Angles, went from 255 to 477 employees; and The Children’s Clinic in Long Beach went from 141 to 281 employees. These jobs are all at stake.

And finally, our economy is at stake. 
Repealing the Affordable Care Act would cost Los Angeles $5.8 billion in Gross Domestic Product, and would result in a loss of $20.3 billion to the state’s GDP.

Beyond adding health care jobs, community clinics and health centers have invested in their communities and local economies: Antelope Valley Community Health Center invested $3 million in local construction and $875,000 in contracts for services, such as maintenance and janitorial. East Valley invested 5 million in construction and a quarter of a million dollars in service contracts; JWCH invested $4.8 million in construction and $3.3 million in contracted services.
Repealing the ACA will be felt far beyond the health care sector. Indeed, our lives, our jobs and our economy are all at risk.

Tell your story, and share what’s at stake for you under ACA Repeal  – click here to submit a video to CCALAC and don’t forget to share on social media; use #facesofcoverage. Click here to see the faces of those impacted by ACA.

2 thoughts on “Repealing the Affordable Care Act: What’s at Stake in Los Angeles County?”

  1. Thanks Louise. I love that you’re including the jobs and skills healthcare provides as well. We are vital members of our communities.

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