April 29 2019

Sacramento Bee – How do we get all Californians access to affordable health care? ‘Bold action’

…Robert Ross – President and CEO, The California Endowment:  Should California make it its mission to ensure every resident has health coverage? This one is easy, and the answer is a resounding, without-a-doubt, two-handed slam dunk “YES!” We know our entire nation must do this – but that’s another column for another day. The best way to achieve that goal, from my perspective, is a two-part answer. The first part is “The Prize”, and the second part is about “The Roadmap”. The Prize represents the longer game, the final policy answer. At the health foundation I lead, we are growing increasingly agnostic about allegiance to a single right approach. I would be fine with Single Payer; I would be fine with Medicare-for-All or some variant of that; and, I would be fine with putting the ACA/ Obamacare on policy steroids and just building from that platform. Let’s just get everybody in the boat. The Roadmap represents the more immediate three-year timeframe in front of us – and lets call it bold pragmatism. This to-do list is as follows: 1) Extending health coverage for our undocumented residents, 2) Improving affordability by enhancing subsidies through Covered California, 3) Re-assert the individual mandate for coverage in California through tax penalties, and 4) Governor Newsom is one the right track with a frontal assault on drug-pricing as a measure of cost control. See? It’s easy….

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