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Well being Care Is Entrance and Heart as DeSantis and Newsom Go Mano a Mano


Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantisAge: 45Florida inhabitants: 22.2 million

California

Gov. Gavin NewsomAge: 56California inhabitants: 39 million

Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis and Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom — political rivals from reverse coasts and proxies for pink and blue America — are set to sq. off for a first-of-its-kind debate Nov. 30 in Georgia.

Newsom, a liberal firebrand in his second time period as governor of California, isn’t working for president in 2024. However he goaded DeSantis, in his second time period as governor of Florida, to go mano a mano. “I’ll carry my hair gel. You carry your hairspray,” he taunted on social media.

The matchup guarantees to be a heated brawl between rising political stars who lead two of the nation’s most populous and numerous states. And it’ll mark the primary time the politicians meet in individual at the same time as they’ve very publicly traded barbs and insults, in latest weeks attacking one another in fundraising movies and marketing campaign adverts.

Entrance and heart will likely be homelessness and well being care, high priorities for voters — and points which have largely outlined the governors’ insurance policies and management kinds. From abortion to covid-19 vaccines, Newsom and DeSantis couldn’t be additional aside.

Earlier this yr, DeSantis blasted California for being too beneficiant with public profit applications, corresponding to Medicaid, which the Golden State has expanded to all eligible residents no matter immigration standing. That sweeping coverage takes impact in January and goes nicely past the elective enlargement of Medicaid that the Inexpensive Care Act supplied states. In Florida, one in all 10 states which have refused to develop Medicaid underneath Obamacare, DeSantis wears the state’s 11% fee of uninsured residents as a badge of honor.

“We’re not going to be like California and have huge numbers of individuals on authorities applications with out work necessities,” DeSantis mentioned at a presidential major debate in Southern California earlier this yr.

DeSantis has led his state to limit abortion and gender-affirming care and to ban covid-related masks and vaccine mandates.

Newsom, a slick and brash surrogate for Democratic President Joe Biden, has slammed DeSantis for placing Floridians in peril and stripping them of their rights.

“Be a part of us in California, the place we nonetheless consider in freedom,” Newsom mentioned in a political advert earlier this yr.

Newsom has earned the moniker of “well being care governor” by catapulting the problem to the highest of his coverage priorities. He made California an abortion sanctuary and is dramatically increasing well being care advantages. He had promised to carry single-payer well being care to the nation’s most populous state whereas campaigning for his first time period, however that concept hit stiff political opposition early in his tenure. And now Newsom boasts about bringing the state’s uninsured fee to an all-time low of 6.5% by increasing protection in different methods.

These points are anticipated to take heart stage through the nationally televised 90-minute debate on Fox Information, which might have main reverberations for the presidential contest subsequent yr and will even assist form the 2028 area of White Home contenders.

Prematurely of the showdown, KFF Well being Information analyzed 10 of the governors’ high well being care positions and the way their insurance policies have improved — or hindered — the well being of the residents they characterize.

Obamacare

Florida

DeSantis has refused to develop Medicaid eligibility to extra folks underneath the Inexpensive Care Act. Partly in consequence, greater than 3 million Floridians had protection by means of the federal Obamacare alternate as of February, greater than another state. Florida doesn’t have a state-based alternate or supply state-sponsored subsidies.

California

The state has enthusiastically embraced the Inexpensive Care Act, increasing Medicaid whereas establishing its personal insurance coverage alternate, Coated California. Below Newsom, it has additionally gone nicely past the provisions of Obamacare and created a state requirement for Californians to have medical health insurance after the federal mandate was eradicated.

Abortion

Florida

DeSantis accredited laws in April banning abortions after six weeks of being pregnant. Nonetheless, the Florida Supreme Courtroom has taken up a problem to the 15-week ban launched in 2022, which can decide if the six-week ban can take impact.

California

Newsom spearheaded the trouble in 2022 to amend the state structure to enshrine the fitting to abortion and contraception. He additionally accredited $60 million to assist uninsured sufferers and folks from out of state pay for abortions in California, and signed reproductive well being care legal guidelines, together with one defending docs who mail abortion tablets to different states.

Transgender Care

Florida

Below DeSantis, Florida handed a regulation this yr banning gender-affirming well being care for trans minors and mandating that grownup sufferers signal knowledgeable consent varieties earlier than beginning or persevering with hormone therapy. The regulation additionally restricts who can order hormone remedy to physicians and prohibits the usage of telehealth for brand new prescriptions. A federal lawsuit difficult the regulation is about to go to trial in mid-December.

California

Newsom and different state leaders have amended state regulation to make sure all California adults and youngsters are entitled to gender-affirming well being care companies. And insurance coverage corporations doing enterprise in California should embrace data on in-network suppliers for gender-affirming companies by 2025. State well being care businesses are designing “enforceable high quality requirements” to make sure trans sufferers have entry to complete care.

Homelessness

Florida

DeSantis has not declared homelessness a precedence. In a video filmed on the streets of San Francisco and posted to social media in June, DeSantis used the subject as a marketing campaign cudgel to criticize what he known as “leftist insurance policies” in California. Florida is experimenting with utilizing Medicaid funds to deal with homelessness, however this system is proscribed. Practically 26,000 folks are homeless in Florida, or 12 of each 10,000 residents.

California

Newsom has plowed greater than $20 billion into the homelessness disaster, with billions extra for well being and social companies. For instance, some homeless Californians can get social companies by means of the state’s Medicaid program, corresponding to cash for rental safety deposits, utility funds, and first and final month’s lease. Newsom additionally led a brand new state initiative that would pressure some homeless folks into psychological well being or habit therapy. Greater than 171,000 folks are homeless in California, or 44 of each 10,000 residents.

Psychological Well being

Florida

DeSantis has stored his pledge to advocate for psychological well being therapy applications as governor, though Florida nonetheless ranks forty third nationally in entry to psychological well being care and has the fourth-highest fee of adults with psychological sickness who’re uninsured, in accordance with the Miami Heart for Psychological Well being and Restoration. Below DeSantis, Florida has elevated state funding for psychological well being applications in faculties and peer-to-peer psychological well being companies for first responders, and directed funding to suicide prevention.

California

Newsom in 2020 signed one of many nation’s strongest psychological well being parity legal guidelines, which requires insurance coverage corporations to cowl psychological well being and substance use issues simply as they might bodily well being circumstances. He’s funding a $4.7 billion initiative to offer psychological well being therapy in faculties. Newsom can be main the marketing campaign for a statewide, $6.4 billion bond measure in 2024 to revamp and develop community-based behavioral well being applications, together with 1000’s of latest therapy beds.

Habit

Florida

Florida’s drug overdose demise fee was 37.5 per 100,000 folks in 2021. In August, DeSantis introduced a brand new statewide habit restoration program billed as a “first of its form” in america, utilizing peer counselors, medication-assisted therapy, and a coordinated community of assist companies. DeSantis additionally licensed Florida counties to undertake needle alternate applications in 2019 to cut back the unfold of blood-borne ailments and encourage habit therapy.

California

California’s drug overdose fee was 26.6 per 100,000 folks in 2021. Newsom is sending the state Freeway Patrol and Nationwide Guard into San Francisco to fight the open-air fentanyl commerce and is boosting habit restoration applications statewide. However he vetoed laws final yr that may have allowed Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Oakland to determine protected injection websites.

Prescription Medicine

Florida

A DeSantis proposal submitted to the FDA in 2020 contains permitting imported drugs from Canada. A brand new state regulation additionally units worth limits for pharmacy profit managers — intermediaries between insurers, pharmacies, and producers — and creates new guidelines for them round pricing transparency. The regulation additionally requires pharmaceutical corporations to reveal important worth hikes.

California

Newsom is spearheading a $100 million, first-in-the-nation initiative that places California within the generic drugmaking enterprise, starting with insulin and the opioid reversal drug naloxone. California already had a pricing transparency regulation when Newsom took workplace. This yr, he signed a regulation that tightens state laws for pharmacy profit managers.

Well being Care Affordability

Florida

In 2019, DeSantis signed the Affected person Financial savings Act, which permits well being insurers to share price financial savings with enrollees who store for well being care companies, corresponding to imaging and diagnostic assessments. Below his management, Florida lawmakers have additionally allowed short-term well being plans lasting lower than a yr and direct well being care agreements between a affected person and a well being care supplier that aren’t thought-about insurance coverage and will not be topic to Florida’s insurance coverage code.

California

One in all Newsom’s first well being care initiatives was to fund state-financed medical health insurance subsidies for low- and middle-income residents who buy insurance coverage by means of Coated California. Newsom this yr additionally agreed to decrease copays and eliminate some deductibles for plans offered by means of the alternate. California’s newly created Workplace of Well being Care Affordability is capping business price will increase and will probably regulate well being business consolidation. California bans short-term well being plans.

Public Well being

Florida

DeSantis signed laws in 2021 banning authorities, faculties, and personal employers from requiring covid vaccinations. In 2023, he pushed legislators to undertake legal guidelines prohibiting sure vaccine and masks necessities. He additionally fashioned a Public Well being Integrity Committee led by his hand-picked surgeon basic, Joseph Ladapo, whose official steerage on covid vaccines contradicts the CDC’s suggestions. The Sunshine State’s covid-19 vaccine booster fee for residents age 5 and older is 12.4%.

California

Newsom grew to become the primary U.S. governor to difficulty a statewide stay-at-home order at the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic. He pushed robust vaccination and masks mandates and accused DeSantis of being weak on public well being. Newsom has additionally signed legal guidelines strengthening childhood vaccination mandates, together with a measure that cracks down on bogus medical exemptions granted by docs. The Golden State’s covid-19 vaccine booster fee for residents ages 5 and older is 21.9%.

Immigrant Well being Care

Florida

With DeSantis making immigration a precedence, legislators handed a state regulation requiring all Florida hospitals to ask on their admission varieties whether or not a affected person is a U.S. citizen or lawfully current within the nation. Docs, nurses, and well being coverage specialists say the regulation targets marginalized folks who have already got problem navigating the well being care system and can additional deter them from looking for care.

California

Starting in January, all immigrants who meet revenue {qualifications} will likely be eligible for the state’s Medicaid program. Earlier than Newsom took workplace, California had already expanded eligibility to unauthorized immigrant youngsters by means of age 18. Newsom then signed legal guidelines increasing this system to younger adults as much as age 26, adults 50 and older, and, later, immigrants of any age who in any other case meet eligibility necessities.

This text was produced by KFF Well being Information, which publishes California Healthline, an editorially unbiased service of the California Well being Care Basis. 



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