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Newsom’s #CABudget May Revision Sets Up Further Health Care Negotiations with Legislature

On Thursday, May 9th, Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled the May Revision of his proposed 2019-2020 budget which continues to include first-in-nation steps toward universal coverage including enhanced affordability assistance in Covered California, continuing the ACA’s individual requirement for coverage at the state level, and general fund investment to expand Medi-Cal to low-income  young adults up to age 26 regardless of immigration status. See Health Access 2019 Budget Scorecard for a break down of Governor Newsom’s proposals and what additional steps we can take towards universal coverage. As opposed to the debate in DC about rolling back and repealing reforms, the health care debate in California’s budget will be about the scale and amount of help we can provide in accessing […] Read More

Thank You to Nancy Gomez’s Decade of Health Care Consumer Advocacy

In early 2008, before there was an Affordable Care Act or even a clear indication of who the candidates for President would be, Health Access joined the national effort to pass comprehensive health reform: Health Care for American Now (HCAN). We knew we couldn’t win health reform with President Bush still in office, but we could lose the potential of reform under a new President unless we did the organizing and built the movement needed. The campaign launched in July 2008 with 50 events across the country, with two of the most prominent OCCURING in California, featuring elected officials with history on health reform: then-Mayor Gavin Newsom in San Francisco and then-Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi in Los Angeles. That major […] Read More

California Legislative Committees Consider Major Health Coverage Expansions

Last week, California legislators heard and considered major proposals to expand access and increase affordability for hundreds of thousands of Californians, and which together would cut the state’s uninsured rate in half. One proposal, SB 29 (Durazo), to expand Medi-Cal to all income-eligible Californians regardless of immigration status, received 7-1 vote in the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday. That proposal and other proposals including enhancing subsidies in Covered California, preventing premium increases by instituting a state-level individual requirement to have coverage, fixing the “senior penalty” in Medi-Cal, investing in greater enrollment outreach assistance, and more were heard Thursday in the Senate Budget Subcommittee as well. All Californians benefit when more consumers are covered, getting primary and preventive care, through these […] Read More

In First State of the State, Governor Newsom Outlines Big Ideas on Health Care Affordability

In his first State of the State address, Governor Newsom outlined big ideas on health care.  Governor Newsom is right to focus on the affordability crisis in California, given the costs of health care, housing and other expenses in our state. From premiums to prescription drug prices, the Governor pinpointed the problem that Californians are struggling with high health care costs and offered salient solutions we can get to this year. The Legislature should follow the Governor’s call to action on health care affordability, and take it even further. The Legislature should pass proposals the Governor suggested he might sign to reign in health consolidation and health costs. The Legislature should also make the investments beyond the Governor’s proposals for a […] Read More

New Covered California Report Outlines Options for Affordability Assistance for Health Insurance

Following the release of 2019 enrollment numbers earlier this week that show steady overall enrollment but a 23% drop in new sign-ups, Covered California today put out a new report detailing various options for increasing affordability assistance for low- and moderate-income Californians who buy health insurance as individuals. The report, commissioned by the Legislature in last year’s AB 1810, offers several proposals for how the state could structure enhanced subsidies so more Californians can better afford and sign up for health coverage. The report modeled the potential impacts of using state dollars to supplement existing Affordable Care Act subsidies. A number of options are considered from reducing deductibles and cost-sharing for low-income Californians to providing new subsidies to Californians above 400% of the […] Read More

RECAP: California Leads on Getting to Universal Health Care

Last week was a big week for health care in California, so here is a rundown of what happened and what it means! On Monday, Gavin Newsom was sworn in as the 40th Governor of California, and quickly announced his first actions on health care. Then on Thursday, Governor Newsom unveiled a state budget that put those actions into motion with first-in-the-nation investments to help Californians access health care and coverage. From removing exclusions in Medi-Cal to increasing affordability assistance for middle-income Californians to pay for health care, these steps can bring California closer than ever to universal coverage. Actions Taken by Governor Newsom on Day One: Issued an Executive Order creating a large-scale single-purchaser system for prescription drugs to help drive down costs. Issued an Executive Order establishing […] Read More

On Day One, Governor Newsom Takes Key Steps Towards Health Care To All Californians

Health Consumer Groups Applaud Both Long-Term Vision for Health Care for all Californians, and the Governor’s Specific Steps to Help Californians Access & Afford Coverage This Year On his first day in office, Governor Newsom announces support for major expansions of health coverage and other key health reforms, including first-in-the-nation expansions: increasing affordability assistance post-ACA in the individual market to middle-income Californians, and expanding Medi-Cal to low-income undocumented adults up to age 26. In March 2018, over 50 organizations came together in the #Care4AllCA campaign 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, although not the coverage […] Read More

Decision in Texas v. United States Strikes ACA, Puts the Health Coverage of Millions at Risk

On Friday December 14th, Judge Reed O’Conner ruled in Texas v. United States to strike the entirety of the Affordable Care (ACA), due to the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate in the law and its inseparability from the ACA as a whole. While the decision will be appealed by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and thus does not impact any coverage immediately, the ruling if upheld would take away coverage from millions of Californians and Americans. This completely ridiculous court decision, if upheld, would be catastrophic for our health system, undoing coverage and affordability assistance for tens of millions of Americans–over five million in California alone–and undermining consumer protections, including patients with pre-existing conditions, for many more. We can’t let one right-wing judge […] Read More

Midterms 2018: The Health Care Election

Voters prioritized health issues, supported candidates that vow to protect our health care, and elected a Governor that campaigned on a plan to expand access to care On Tuesday, voters sent a clear, unambiguous message to their elected officials: protect our health care against the repeals and rollbacks attempted over the last two years, and work to expand coverage and consumer protections. Across California and the nation, voters prioritized health care issues, from protecting the ACA and people with pre-existing conditions, to expanding Medicaid and coverage in general. ACA ACCOUNTABILITY: Poll after polled showed health care was at the top of mind for voters. This was reflected in campaign ads across the country where over half focused on health care, […] Read More

Proposition 5 is Bad For Our Health

Proposition 5 on the November 2018 ballot is a grave threat to Californians health care. According to the independent Legislative Analyst’s Office, Prop 5 will result in an initial cut of hundreds of millions of dollars to California counties, and ultimately a billion dollars per year. Our counties are a major provider many vital services. A billion dollar hit to county budgets would put schools, firefighters, law enforcement, libraries, parks, and health and human services at risk. Millions of Californians rely on these services for the health and well-being of themselves, their families, and their communities. We all rely on our county safety net. This includes public hospitals, emergency rooms, community health clinics, ambulances, mental health services, and much more. Everything from signing […] Read More