KNX In-Depth VIDEOS: Gov. Gavin Newsom Addresses Homelessness, Health Care and High-Speed Rail

Ameera Butt
May 23, 2019 - 2:58 pm
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Gov. Gavin Newsom joined KNX In-Depth Thursday afternoon to recap what he's covered on his recent health care tour, the proposed California mandate on health insurance, a new task force he created to address the homeless crisis and the high-speed rail drama with the federal government.

HEALTHCARE

Newsom talked about his recent health care tour to cities like LA, San Diego and San Francisco that included how to cut drug prices, how illegal immigrant adults would be covered by Medi-Cal and the Obamacare revivals.

Specifically, a state mandate that would require Californians to pay a penalty if they do not have health insurance.

It was part of the Affordable Care Act but Congress rolled back the penalty.

The governor tells KNX In Depth since it was eliminated, there has been a 24-percent decrease in enrollment and premiums have gone up by five-percent. 

The governor says the Trump administration has "vandalized" the law.

(Watch the video above).

He said his goal is universal healthcare and he's not ideological on how to achieve it.

"I just want to do it in the most cost-effective and efficient manner. Multi-payer system is neither cost efficient or effective," he said.

HIGH-SPEED RAIL

This week California went to bat against the government by saying it would sue to block the Trump administration from canceling nearly $1 billion for the state's high-speed rail project.

It's an ongoing feud between the state and the federal government when last week the Federal Railroad Administration said it would not give the state the money awarded by Congress almost 10 years ago, saying it had not made enough progress.

The latest news is the administration has agreed it won't give the money away immediately to another project as this fight plays out.

When asked by Mike Simpson if he should have addressed high-speed rail in his State of the State address, Newsom said,  "No, you gotta be honest with folks. I didn't get elected to obfuscate, to mislead you, to lie to you. With all due respect, that's what I could have chosen to do but that's not who I am." 

In the past, Newsom has said the move is retribution because of California's criticism of Trump's immigration policies.

HOMELESSNESS

When it comes to the homeless crisis, Newsom said "we own this, we need to fix it."

He called the homeless crisis in the state a humanitarian crisis.

Newsom said there has been no plan or task force and that should inspire less confidence in people. 

"There's been no intentionality," he said.

Newsom said one of the frustrations of living in LA County is it can't do everything alone.

"What about the rest of the counties? Neighboring counties? What about cities, large cities?  LA itself can't do the job of all the jobs of the other 80 plus cities in the county. Everybody has to row in the same direction," Newsom said.

This week, Newsom created a new task force will deal with fighting homelessness.

In the past, the governor has called the homeless epidemic a "national disgrace." He's proposing the state increase spending on homelessness calling for $1 billion in next year's budget to address the issue.

Newsom says the task force will work with local governments to develop regional plans to try to solve the problem.