California has always been the “flagship” for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
So it was no surprise Tuesday when a small group gathered in Los Angeles to demonstrate against President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to repeal Obamacare — and a smaller surprise still to discover who was present at the rally of about 200.
“The crowd, comprised of health care workers, nurses, advocates and patients, chanted, ‘Hey hey, ho ho, attacks on health care have got to go’,” reported Southern California Public Radio. “They waved signs reading ‘#Fight4Health’ and ‘Healthcare is a human right.’” An image of the protest provided by the public radio outlet shows pre-printed signs and matching t-shirts, such as those of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the shock troops of Democratic Party AstroTurf protest.
Just as Obamacare has collapsed elsewhere, the California program has suffered — albeit far less than other states. In 2017, insurance costs under Covered California — the state’s Obamacare exchange — will rise roughly 13%, which is smaller than the nationwide average of 22% but still high. Insurers have pulled out of the state and even forced employees to take furlough to stop Obamacare losses. The state system has been plagued by glitches and questions about conflicts of interest, as well as accusations that doctors who were not accepting Covered California patients were listed participants in the program. Its main achievement has been to expand Medi-Cal, the state’s program covering insurance for the poor and for working families.