Universal Health Care Push Expected To Regain Momentum In Newsom’s First Budget
By Sammy Caiola
The fight to expand coverage under the Affordable Care Act never petered out in California, even as the federal government moved repeatedly to dismantle the Obama-era policy.
Now, the Golden State seems to have a new health care champion in Gavin Newsom. In his first budget this week, the governor is expected to revive ideas to improve access that fell flat under predecessor Jerry Brown . . .
He proposed funding the expansion, at least partially, by creating a statewide individual insurance coverage mandate. It would replace the one zeroed out by the Trump administration in 2017, which required people to either buy insurance or pay a fine.
Many health care economists predict that an individual mandate will prevent healthy consumers from leaving the market, therefore maintaining a low cost of care for all.
Sally Pipes, president of a conservative think-tank called the Pacific Research Institute, said those views are “divorced from reality.”
“The last four years of Obamacare have proven that even a government directive hasn’t compelled the young and healthy to buy insurance they can’t afford,” she said in an email. “Reinstating the mandate at the state level would effectively be a tax hike on poor and working-class Californians.”