Newsom Highlights State’s National Leadership in Fight to Protect and Expand Health Care

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Governor Gavin Newsom

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.

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