Capitol Weekly Podcast: Big Week for California Healthcare

California made national headlines this week with an aggressive push toward achieving Universal Healthcare in the state. First, Governor Newsom announced his proposed budget for 2022–23, which includes funding to expand MediCal coverage to undocumented immigrants of all age groups. This expansion of services closes a gap: undocumented immigrants aged 25 and under or 50 and older were already eligible for MediCal through previous legislation.

On the legislative side, Democratic Assemblyman Ash Kalra introduced AB1400, a bill that would create a state-run Single Payer healthcare system to be called CalCare. On Tuesday, the bill passed its first hurdle, receiving an 11–3 vote in the Assembly Health Committee. Despite this early success, the bill faces a tough road ahead; AB1400 has already earned strong opposition from a long list of major healthcare players including The California Medical Association, The California Hospital Association and The California Association of Health Plans.

This episode, we invited Anthony Wright of Health Access California to share his insights on these major developments in California healthcare policy, and what to expect next. Wright has spent his career working on expanding access to quality healthcare, and led the state’s coalition effort to help pass the Affordable Care Act. His experience inside and outside government uniquely positions him to view healthcare policy as both an idealistic advocate, and as a pragmatist who understands the arduous political process of turning ideas into law.

Plus – who had the #WorstWeek in California politics.

Episode Notes

:53 Reality check: Can we get this done?

2:38 Why now?

4:41 Is CalCare a good idea?

8:33 How do these proposals fit into the Federal system?

11:02 How does the public feel about their current healthcare coverage?

13:22 How does the Governor’s proposal affect providers?

16:15 The opposition to AB1400

18:12 Assuming AB1400 passes, how long would it take to implement?

20:13 “A Healthy California For All”

21:02 Opposition to the ACA was INTENSE. Has the conversation around healthcare changed that much since 2010?

24:48 The difference between Single Payer and Universal Health Care

27:39 The #WorstWeekCA

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