On Thursday, the Legislature approved the first budget under this new Governor — a nearly $214 billion spending plan that makes significant investments in the new Governor’s top priorities, including health care (we anticipate the trailer bill related to health care will be approved later in the month).
One of the key takeaways from Newsom’s first budget negotiation effort is that he is clearly disposed to use the budget — his most powerful tool as Governor — in a proactive and impactful way to advance his health care goals.
For 2019, this was a boon to health care in several ways. To name a few:
- $98 million for Medi-Cal to cover all eligible 19- to 25-year-olds, regardless of immigration status
- $1.45 billion over the next three years to help middle-income people afford health insurance
- An individual mandate requiring people to buy health coverage or pay a penalty
But the Governor’s approach to advance priorities through the budget means we must be highly vigilant for the 2020 budget cycle, which begins in earnest in the coming weeks.
While we don’t know for certain what will be included in that budget, we do know that health care is one of Gov. Newsom’s top three priorities (along with housing and education) and will remain at the forefront. And we know that the national and state debates on health care affordability and reform are at a fever pitch.
Mix those together and you have a recipe for significant activity on far-reaching health care policies in the coming months via the early budget process.
For your CHA team, this means we’ll be staying closely connected to the Governor’s key budget and health care leads, and working with them to advance sound policies that both reflect Newsom’s goals and ensure hospitals continue to hold a special place in California’s vast health care landscape.