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CLSA Wire

Gov. Newsom Outlines His Healthcare Vision in State of the State

By Brett Johnson
Feb 21, 2019

On February 12th, Governor Newsom delivered his first State of the State address, and a significant portion of the address was dedicated to the cost of and access to healthcare in California. The governor addressed the rising cost of healthcare in his speech and reiterated his plans to pave the road for a single-payer system in California.

Newsom has proposed instituting a state-level individual healthcare coverage mandate, enhancing subsidies for middle-class families to purchase coverage through Covered California, and expanding Medi-Cal coverage to undocumented young adults up to age 25.

Regarding prescription costs, Governor Newsom thanked the President for his efforts to lower the cost of prescription drugs. Newsom praised President Trump’s efforts to lower the cost of drugs: “I want to thank President Trump for calling attention to prescription drug prices in his State of the Union. Yes, you heard that right. I hope he follows through.  After all, this should be a bipartisan issue. But with or without the Federal government, California will lead.” However, he did criticize the White House’s approach on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). “The White House is laser-focused on destroying the Affordable Care Act. The vandalism they’ve already done to the individual mandate has had consequences. This year’s Covered California premiums increased almost twice as much as we expected. This is just what we feared, and it’s just what they wanted.”

The governor also took the opportunity to announce the launch of the Alzheimer’s Prevention and Preparedness Task Force, which will be led by the former California First Lady, Maria Shriver. Shriver, an advocate for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, recently penned an op-ed in the Los Angeles Times discussing the epidemic of Alzheimer’s disease.

The State of the State address was well received among California’s supermajority Democratic legislature. Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkin’s stated, “The governor spoke some hard truths. He set audacious goals, and he’s assembling a formidable team to achieve them. We will need new ways of looking at old problems, and unprecedented collaboration to meet the challenges ahead. I’m eager to get to work.”

To read the State of the State Address, click here.

Any CLSA members who would like to provide input or would like further information on anything discussed herein are asked to reach out to Oliver Rocroi, CLSA’s Senior Director, State Government Relations (orocroi@califesciences.org) or Brett Johnson, CLSA’s Senior Director, Policy & Regulatory Affairs (bjohnson@califesciences.org).