SACRAMENTO — Governor Gavin Newsom highlighted the steps California is taking to compensate for the Trump administration’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
“There’s no starker contrast. We are the most un-Trump state in America when it comes to health policy,” Newsom said Tuesday. “A hundred and thirty-three million Americans will potentially be vulnerable to massive premium increases or complete disqualification of their health insurance.”
The governor and several leading lawmakers in health care reform toured the Sacramento Native American Health Center on Tuesday morning to see how the allocations they made in this year’s state budget will affect some of the most vulnerable people living in California.
“This is a pretty extraordinary place taking care of some extraordinary people that otherwise wouldn’t be taken care of,” Newsom said.
They’re investing nearly a $1.5 billion over the next three years to help qualifying Californians pay for their health care premiums.
Now, individuals earning up to $72,000 and families earning up to $150,000 will qualify for that assistance.
“California is showing the nation that we can do something different and something that works,” Senator Richard Pan said.
The goal is not only to help all Californians get access to health care but to keep premiums low for people who can afford it.
The budget also incentivizes doctors to take jobs treating Medi-Cal patients.
“We often talk more about patients, not enough about providers,” Newsom said.
The governor allocated millions of dollars to help those doctors pay off their student loans.
During Newsom’s visit, one of the doctors working at the clinic found out he qualified for $300,000 in loan forgiveness.
“I enjoy working with these patients and it is kind of hard keeping up with those loan payments. So, I’m glad I got this,” he said. “Three hundred thousand is going to go a long way.”
Lawmakers say this is all part of the process toward reaching their goal of universal health care in the Golden State, and they hope to set the example for the rest of the nation.