Californians stand to lose health care if Obamacare repealed

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Republicans in the House of Representatives plan to repeal and replace Obamacare and are facing stiff opposition Monday night. Democrats fear millions will lose their health insurance.

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Even some Republicans are expressing their concern over the plan and California has a lot to lose -- potentially billions of dollars a year in subsidies.

If the House Republicans succeed in repealing and replacing the affordable care act, millions stand to lose their health insurance.

UC Berkeley professor Richard Scheffler is an expert on health economics. "Under Obamacare, about 22 million people got healthcare and I think more or less over a few years, more than half of those will eventually lose that," he said.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan says the American Health Care Act will help drive down costs, encourage competition, and expand access to care.

The bill would immediately eliminate the individual mandate, repeal the Obamacare penalties and subsidies over three years, create tax credits instead to help Americans buy insurance, and limit federal funding for Medicaid.

In Alameda alone, these changes would affect 100,000 people. California underwent a huge Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.

"They said whatever they replace Obamacare with, it was going to be better," said Wilma Chan of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. "And this really makes it a lot worse for people in Alameda County, California, and across the country."

The bill is no slam dunk. The big question is whether lawmakers from red states with big Medicaid programs will support it.

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"Once people have something it's really difficult to take it away," Scheffler added. "I mean, you know, so I think it's going to be a hot potato."

The bill does preserve some elements of Obamacare, such as coverage for people with preexisting conditions and also allows young people to stay on their parents' insurance plans until they're 26 years old.

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