Gov. Gavin Newsom at his inauguration ceremony in Sacramento on Monday. Image for state television

In a rebuke to President Trump, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday called for California to reinstate the individual mandate and require all residents to purchase health insurance.

“Every person should have access to quality, affordable health care,” Newsom said in his inaugural address in Sacramento. “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.”

The individual mandate was a key part of Obamacare that Republicans in Congress voted to remove in 2017. Requiring everyone to buy health insurance increased the size of the insurance pool, with premiums paid by healthy people helping to support the medical costs of others needing care.

In a statement, the governor’s office called for “fighting back against the federal government’s attempts to destroy the Affordable Care Act by reinstating the individual mandate at the state level.”

Reinstating the mandate was part of a package of proposals and executive actions the new Governor made on his first day in office, including:

  • A dramatic expansion of Medi-Cal, the state’s health insurance program, to cover young undocumented adults
  • Subsidies through Medi-Cal to help middle-class families pay for insurance
  • Creating a state-purchasing program for prescription drugs used in Medi-Cal. “We will use our market power and our moral power to demand fairer prices for prescription drugs,” Newsom said.
  • Establishing a California Surgeon General

The governor campaigned on a pledge of health care for all Californians. His actions Monday come as as a Texas judge’s ruling that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional heads to the U.S. Supreme Court for a final determination.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.