Democrats start de­liv­er­ing on health care pledges

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - NATION/WORLD -

Rid­ing the mo­men­tum from Novem­ber’s elec­tions, Demo­cratic lead­ers in the states are wast­ing no time de­liv­er­ing on their big­gest cam­paign prom­ise — to ex­pand ac­cess to health care and make it more af­ford­able.

The first full week of state leg­isla­tive ses­sions and swear­ings-in for gov­er­nors saw a flurry of pro­pos­als.

In his ini­tial ac­tions, newly elected Cal­i­for­nia Gov. Gavin New­som an­nounced plans to ex­pand Med­i­caid to those in the coun­try il­le­gally up to age 26, im­ple­ment a man­date that ev­ery­one buy in­sur­ance or face a fine, and con­sol­i­date the state’s pre­scrip­tion drug pur­chases in the hope that it will dra­mat­i­cally lower costs.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee pro­posed a pub­lic health in­sur­ance op­tion for peo­ple who are not cov­ered by Med­i­caid or pri­vate em­ploy­ers and have trou­ble af­ford­ing poli­cies on the pri­vate mar­ket.

Democrats in sev­eral states where they now con­trol the leg­is­la­ture and gover­nor’s of­fice, in­clud­ing New Mex­ico, are con­sid­er­ing ways that peo­ple who are unin­sured but make too much to qual­ify for Med­i­caid or other sub­si­dized cov­er­age can buy Med­i­caid poli­cies.

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