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Newsom promised big on California health care. Where do his bold plans stand now?

In summary

Three of the California governor’s boldest health care promises — including affordable medications and universal health care — have made little progress so far.

Early in his term, Gov. Gavin Newsom positioned himself as the governor who would champion health care. He vowed to target rising prescription drug costs and find a way for the state to pay for care for all Californians, a key campaign promise. He also set a goal of creating a blueprint to better serve the Golden State’s growing population of seniors.

But two and a half years after taking office and still struggling to control a pandemic, the governor has had to focus much of his attention on COVID-19, so timelines for other health efforts have been pushed back.

Two of Newsom’s boldest health care promises — affordable medications and universal, state-funded health care — have made little progress during his term. And a third — a master plan for seniors — has been drafted yet actions will be phased in over the next 10 years. So enacting each of them in some form will likely come after Newsom’s term ends — even if he isn’t recalled in September.

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