National Politics

Democrats to McCarthy: Repealing Obamacare will hurt your district the most

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy walks through the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, as members attend a closed-door intelligence briefing. Congress has approved the first step toward dismantling President Barack Obama’s healthcare law as Republicans pushed a budget through Congress that provides an early but crucial victory in the effort.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy walks through the Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 13, 2017, as members attend a closed-door intelligence briefing. Congress has approved the first step toward dismantling President Barack Obama’s healthcare law as Republicans pushed a budget through Congress that provides an early but crucial victory in the effort. AP

As House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy leads the charge to gut and replace the Affordable Care Act in Washington, a group of California senators held a hearing in his hometown Thursday to highlight what they said would be the horrible repercussions here.

They did not invite McCarthy or critics of the healthcare law.

Members of the state Senate Committee on Health, as well as patients and speakers from the healthcare and nonprofit world, hammered the congressman and other Republicans for, in their words, making “repeal and replace Obamacare” their war cry while offering no specific replacement plan.

Speaking at the Kern County Board of Supervisors chambers in downtown Bakersfield, healthcare leaders outlined the surges in insurance enrollment they’ve seen since the ACA was implemented. Kern County gained more than 113,000 enrollments, according to Sue Benham, vice president/chief philanthropy officer at Dignity Health.

Others said repeal without immediate replacement would cause massive job losses in the healthcare field, striking a tremendous blow to the overall economy.

Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno, said his constituency could lose 24,000 jobs; Hernandez said Kern could lose “a good portion” of the 5,000 healthcare-related positions created by the ACA.

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