New Gov. Newsom Expands Medi-Cal Coverage for Undocumented Young Adults

California Gov. Gavin Newsom waves with his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom

WASHINGTON -- Right after California Gov. Gavin Newsom was inaugurated into office today, he signed a series of executive orders on healthcare including making the Golden State the first in the nation to cover undocumented young adults under the state's Medicaid program.

Undocumented children and teens are already covered by Medi-Cal; the new directive follows the Affordable Care Act guideline of allowing most young adults to stay on their parents' plans until age 26.

Newsom's office called it a "major step toward universal coverage," along with other healthcare executive orders that comprise his first-year “California for All” agenda.

Those also include expanding the Medi-Cal pricing and purchasing for prescription drugs from 2 million beneficiaries to 13 million, with the eventual goal "to enable all Californians, including private purchasers, to join forces with public purchasers," and expanding Obamacare subsidies: the cutoff line has been individuals earning more than $48,000 a year or a family of four earning more than $98,000, but that will be bumped up to individuals earning up to $72,840 and families of 4 earning up to $150,600 with state funds filling the gap.

"To pay for increased financial help for families, the budget proposes fighting back against the federal government’s attempts to destroy the Affordable Care Act by reinstating the individual mandate at the state level," Newsom's office said.

The new governor also created the position of a California surgeon general "who will lead all Californians in addressing the root causes of serious health conditions, such as adverse childhood experiences and the social determinants of health."

Newsom sent a letter to President Trump and congressional leaders asking that they "amend federal law to enable States to apply for and receive Tranformational Cost and Universal Coverage Waivers, empowering California to truly innovate and to begin transformative reforms that provide the path to a single-payers health care system."

In California, Newsom said in his inaugural speech, "every person should have access to quality, affordable healthcare."

"Far-away judges and politicians may try to turn back our progress. But we will never waver in our pursuit of guaranteed health care for all Californians. We will use both our market power and our moral power to demand fairer prices for prescription drugs," he said. "We will stop stigmatizing mental health and start supporting it. And in California we will always protect a woman’s right to choose."

"...Everyone in California should have a good job with fair pay. Every child should have a great school and a teacher who is supported and respected. Every young person should be able to go to college without crushing debt or to get the training they need to compete and succeed. And every senior should be able to retire with security and live at home with dignity. That is the California Dream. Not to get rich quick or star on the big screen, but to work hard and share in the rewards. To leave a better future for our kids."