CEO Statement on California’s Universal Health Care Coverage

John Baackes, L.A. Care CEO

As the CEO of the largest publicly operated health plan in the country, I am pleased that Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 184, expanding Medi-Cal coverage to all income-eligible residents regardless of their immigration status. It’s estimated that about 700,000 people will become eligible for Medi-Cal due to this new legislation, starting in 2024. This builds on this year’s expansion of Medi-Cal coverage to undocumented adults ages 50 and older and previous expansions to undocumented children and young adults to age 26. This effectively bridges the previous gaps to achieve universal health care coverage in California.

When we invest in health coverage for all residents, we invest in the health of our state. Undocumented Californians have long provided significant economic contributions to communities across the state. Their access to health care coverage is a monumental step toward advancing health equity for all Californians. I applaud Governor Newsom and the legislature for investing in California’s future.