The Pulse | State Assemblyman Brian Maienschein Weighs in on the Future of the ACA in California

The Pulse: Issues in Healthcare - A monthly conversation on healthcare issues
Host: Leslie Bruce, Director, Healthcare Leadership and Community Outreach, UC San Diego Extension

Brian Maienschein expects his third term in the state assembly, representing the 77th district in San Diego County, will be “very exciting and interesting” as the state responds to federal changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). “California has the highest rate of poverty in the country so there is significant funding at stake,” Maienschein shares in this month’s Pulse podcast. “We must work in a bipartisan way with the Congress and the President’s administration” to manage health care costs that may come as part or all of the ACA is repealed and replaced.

Bipartisanship, the Republican assemblyman asserts, is alive and well in the California State Assembly. “The media likes to focus on the conflict but 90 percent of the time, my colleagues and I work very well together,” he says. Maienschein cites several bipartisanship victories in the last year, including the complex reform of MediCal organization financing that enabled the state to comply with ACA rules and capture $1.3 billion in funding for which it would not otherwise have qualified.


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Maienschein has a passion for helping the homeless, having served as a San Diego city council member and later as the United Way commissioner to end homelessness. Last year, he sponsored a bill that he believes will be a “game changer” for cities and counties as they address the complex problem of homelessness. The bill authorizes the formation of Joint Power Authorities between local governments and non-profits, voting bodies that he believes will help community partnerships develop to solve homelessness in California.

For those considering running for office in this heightened time of activism, Maienschein advises, “Make sure you see what [public office] really is. Go volunteer in a local representative’s office. It’s nothing like you see on TV, not overly glamorous, and you are not always working on exciting issues. Most of the time, it’s a lot of hard work, a lot of grunt work, filling potholes and serving constituents.”

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