On 100th Day, Governor Newsom Announces New Partner on Prescription Drug Purchasing Pool

On his 100th day in office, Governor Gavin Newsom announced a partnership with Los Angeles County on prescription drug purchasing, putting together the power of the country’s biggest state and county for the biggest discounts and lower prices needed for medications. The State of California and Los Angeles County buy drugs for similar purposes and populations and can leverage their power against the price-gouging of the pharmaceutical companies.

Consumer groups see a lot of great potential in this new purchasing pool proposal savings for these state and county programs and the public in general. Californians now have a bigger leverage to get better deals. The biggest state and the biggest county in the nation should be able to get bigger discounts on prescription drugs.

Consumer and community groups will continue to pursue other ways to bring down prescription drug prices, as well as other health care costs. The Legislature is advancing bills to stop pay-for-delay practices that inflate the price of medications, as well as greater oversight on insurance premiums and hospital emergency room bills. Californians need help with health care affordability urgently, policymakers are listening to voters to make progress on prescription drug prices and more.

Governor Newsom made major moves in health care not just in his first 100 days, but in his first day and his first week, with first-in-the-nation proposals to expand health coverage and increase affordability, quality and equity.

These major health care priorities are proceeding on schedule, moving ahead at this midpoint in California’s budget and legislative processes, even if there is more work to do to advance and improve these proposals.

The Governor’s proposals to expand coverage and increase affordability, by extending Medi-Cal to young adults regardless of immigration status, and increase financial assistance to more middle-class Californians through a state-level individual mandate were discussed and debated in the California Legislature last week. Many legislators showed support even going beyond these steps and covering all adults, regardless of immigration status, and further extending financial subsidies in the individual market. The #Care4AllCA campaign of 70 consumer and community groups have championed a number of these legislative and budget proposals while also seeking to take additional steps to help more Californians and cut the uninsured rate.

California’s positive progress over the last 100 days is in stark contrast to the federal government’s continued efforts to sabotage our health system, through regulation or litigation. The California electorate clearly expects to not just keep us where we are, but to improve the system and make it work better for more people. Governor Newsom’s efforts on prescription drug prices or other health priorities are not just protect California’s progress, but take further steps to guaranteed, affordable, quality, health care coverage for all.