Today, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-05) spoke at the press conference celebrating the launch of the Sacramento County Low Income Health Program (LIHP). Her remarks, as prepared for delivery, are as follows:
"From the County, to Molina Healthcare, the hospital systems, community clinics and providers, this is truly a community-wide effort to support the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
"At its core the Affordable Care Act represents an unprecedented opportunity to make substantial improvements to our health care system, and ultimately improve the health status of millions of Americans. The intent of the law is to expand health insurance coverage to those who are not currently covered, while reforming the delivery system to improve quality and access to care, all while driving down health care costs over time.
"Recognizing the opportunity provided by this law, in November of 2010 the federal government granted California a waiver to expand coverage to low-income adults. That waiver authorized "California's Bridge to Reform Demonstration.' One of the largest parts of the California Bridge to Reform Demonstration is the Low Income Health Plan, known as LIHP.
"Today we are pleased to announce that Sacramento County's LIHP is moving forward!
"LIHP is a health care plan that will allow low income individuals who do not qualify for Medi-Cal to receive health care coverage until Medicaid expands in 2014. In other words, LIHP is quite literally a bridge to health care reform, ensuring Sacramento County residents have the coverage they need until full implementation of the Affordable Care Act goes into effect in 2014.
"This program represents the federal government's, each of these providers, and the County's commitment to expanding services to the uninsured. Additionally, this program will not only help strengthen our region's safety-net, but it will also foster new collaborative partnerships.
"In Congress, I always brag about the strong health care systems and clinics in our region, and this work is a true testament to your dedication to serving those in need.
"Many of us met back in June, and have had numerous conversations since then about how to move forward on LIHP. I want to publically thank Sacramento County, Molina Healthcare, Sutter Health, Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente and all the participating community health clinics for your commitment to this program. Your involvement and support has been crucial.
"I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to ensure the Sacramento region fully realizes all the benefits provided by the Affordable Care Act, positioning our region for success. Thank you for your hard work and for all that you will continue to do in the future!"