Speaking at a Sacramento health care clinic on Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom highlighted California’s national leadership in the fight to make health care more affordable and move closer to the goal of health care for all.
The governor, in his talk to health care providers, discussed the state’s first-in-the-nation health care proposals that became law as part of the 2019-2020 budget.
At a time when leaders in Washington attack health care and seek to undermine the Affordable Care Act, California is going in the opposite direction. In his first act as governor, Newsom laid out a series of major, nation-leading proposals to lower prescription drug and health care costs for all California families and move California closer to the goal of health care for all.
And last month, the Legislature passed and the governor signed the 2019-2020 state budget that made good on those ideas. The budget:
- Invests $1.45 billion over three years to increase Covered California health insurance premium support for low-income Californians – and provides premium support for the first time to qualified middle-income individuals earning up to $72,000 and families of four earning up to $150,000, partially funded by restoration of an enforceable Individual Mandate;
- Expands Medi-Cal coverage to all income-eligible undocumented young adults ages 19 through 25;
- Includes an increase of $1 billion, using Prop 56 funding, to support increased rates to Medi-Cal providers, expanded family planning services, and value-based payments that encourage more effective treatment of patients with chronic conditions;
- Invests in and supports California’s seniors by expanding health and other vital state services to this fast-growing part of California’s population; ends the “senior penalty” in Medi-Cal by raising the income eligibility limit for older Californians; and invests in responding to Alzheimer’s disease including $3 million for research grants with a focus on women and communities of color, and $5 million for Alzheimer’s disease local infrastructure;
- Establishes a pathway to transition Medi-Cal’s drug benefit to a model where the state is directly bargaining for the lowest drug prices;
- Restores the 7% across the board reduction to In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) service hours.