As the deadline to strike a budget deal approaches, Gov. Gavin Newsom is launching a statewide tour to promote his plans to shore up Obamacare and expand state health coverage to young undocumented adults.
The tour underscores the emphasis Newsom is placing on the health care elements of his budget. It also highlights the potential challenge the Democratic governor faces in getting the Legislature to back his proposals.
“No state has more at stake on the issue of health care,” Newsom plans to say at his first stop on the tour, a health care nonprofit in Sacramento. “While the Trump administration seeks to destroy the Affordable Care Act, California is leading the nation in expanding access to health care and tackling affordability.”
Newsom will also visit San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego during the five-day tour.
Newsom’s proposal to reinstate the individual mandate, which the federal government rolled back after President Donald Trump took office, is perhaps his most direct attempt to prop up the Affordable Care Act. But it will require lawmakers to vote to penalize constituents who don’t have insurance, one of several taxes and fees Newsom wants to enact to support his budget proposal.
But without a way to maintain a large pool of people who pay for insurance, Newsom says insurance prices will go up for everyone.
“Without a mandate, you will see an increase in your premiums,” he said during his revised budget announcement last week.
Newsom wants to use money generated by the individual mandate to increase subsidies for people making up to 600 percent of the federal poverty level – about $150,000 for a family of four.
Throughout the week, Newsom will also promote his plans to consolidate the state’s drug price negotiations and spend $100 million on reproductive and sexual health care.
He and lawmakers have a June deadline to pass a spending plan for the 2019-20 fiscal year.