Coalition of Over 50 Health, Consumer, and Community Groups Seeking Greater Affordability and Access in Our Health System Championed Many of the Proposals Announced Today by Governor Newsom

SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom announced an ambitious agenda on health care on his first day in office. Many of the proposals outlined by the Governor, such as removing exclusions in Medi-Cal based on immigration status, increasing affordability assistance in Covered California, re-instituting a state individual requirement to have coverage, and expanding the state’s prescription drug purchasing collaborative, were championed last year by the Care4All California campaign.

In March 2018, over 50 organizations came together with the goal to advance universal coverage in the near future, without the need for federal approvals. The campaign advanced around 20 bills and budget items, and had eight pieces of legislation signed into law, but without the coverage expansion elements. The path to universal coverage the Care4All California campaign endorsed was complementary with longer-term efforts toward a single-payer system, also proposed by Governor Newsom.

Here are comments from key members of the Care4All California campaign in response to the health care announcement made today by Governor Newsom:

“California Physicians Alliance is happy that Governor Newsom has hit the ground running and has chosen to make impactful changes in health care. We look forward to hearing more details and working together to make universal and equitable health care in California a reality.” – Angelica Ramirez, Executive Director, California Physicians Alliance (CaPA)

“We applaud Governor Newsom for his support for extending access to quality, affordable health care for young adults, regardless of immigration status. This is a historic step on the road toward health justice for all. Now is the time to do the right thing and ensure the well being of all our neighbors, including undocumented community members whom the federal government has locked out of life-saving care. No Californian should suffer or die from a treatable condition, no matter what they look like, how old they are, or where they were born.” – Cynthia Buiza, Executive Director of the California Immigrant Policy Center

“By addressing health as the first action of his administration, Governor Newsom made clear his commitment to ensuring all Californians are able to live well and access health care. CPEHN is pleased to see Governor Newsom commit to critical health care investments in #Health4All young adults, affordability assistance, and addressing the core contributors to persistent health disparities. Our communities have been clear in their desire for comprehensive #Health4All – including the significant health care needs of older adults and people with disabilities. We applaud these first steps, and look forward to working with the Governor to reach the bold and courageous vision of securing universal coverage for all Californians.” – Sarah De Guia, Executive Director, California Pan Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN)

“We applaud Governor Newsom’s announcement to take significant steps to increase health care access and affordability, from premiums to prescription drug prices. Last year, voters supported Governor Newsom in a health care election, and were clamoring not just to protect their care, but for the real, tangible steps to improve access and affordability to care.”

“Even after historic coverage gains under the ACA, around three million Californians continue to be uninsured, largely because they need help to pay for their health care in an admittedly high cost-of-living state, or because they are excluded from existing help due to age, disability, or immigration status. Governor Newsom’s announcement to back key state investments that address these barriers, and which do not need federal approval, would bring down our uninsured rate even further, getting us that much closer universal coverage. If better affordability assistance can be provided, the Governor’s proposal will join other states like New Jersey and Vermont in re-instituting the requirement to have individual insurance would help get more Californians covered and reduce premiums. The Care4All California campaign proposed many parts of this agenda last year, and we are glad that Governor Newsom is taking up this expansive agenda on day one.” – Anthony Wright, Executive Director, Health Access California

“NextGen California is pleased to hear that Gov. Newsom will take steps to improve and expand California’s health care system. NextGen has consistently heard from the youth of our state that rising health care costs continue to add to the difficulty of making California affordable. NextGen looks forward to working with the Administration to help keep California at the forefront of making our health care system affordable, equitable, and accessible for everyone. – Arnold Sowell Jr., Vice President, NextGen California

“Governor Newsom promised to be a health care governor, and on Day One he is keeping his promise to ensure Californians will have access to quality health care. In a courageous step toward universal coverage, his proposals expand Medi-Cal coverage to young undocumented adults and address affordability for middle class families. We look forward to partnering with Governor Newsom to meet the unmet health care needs of Californians and expand access to sexual and reproductive health care services offered by trusted providers.” – Crystal Strait, President & CEO Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California

“As SEIU members who work providing health care to California’s diverse population and who work hard so that our own families can access health care, we are pleased to see Governor Gavin Newsom has elevated the health of Californians as a priority. SEIU members look forward to working with the Governor, the legislature and the Care4All California coalition to fulfill the promise of universal, quality care to people of every background, income level and immigration status.” – Roxanne Sanchez, President of SEIU Local 1021 and SEIU California

“Governor Newsom’s announced expansions to Medi-Cal and Covered California show genuine commitment to guaranteed health care for all Californians.  We look forward to a future where Californians will not go without care because they can’t afford it.” – Jen Flory, Policy Advocate, Western Center on Law & Poverty