New California governor's first actions target health care

Gov. Gavin Newsom's first act as governor was to propose state-funded health coverage for 138,000 young people in the country illegally and a reinstatement of a mandate that everyone buy insurance or face fines.

Newsom also proposed giving subsidies to middle-class families that make too much to qualify them under former President Barack Obama's health care law. He signed an order giving the state more bargaining power in negotiating prescription drug prices. And he sent a letter to President Trump and congressional leaders seeking more authority over federal health care dollars and policies.

Newsom said in a video broadcast on Facebook as he signed his orders "When everybody is pooled together, it means lower cost for each and every one of you. The spirit of this is about bringing down costs."

Newsom was elected following a campaign that leaned heavily on his promise to provide health coverage to everyone. His actions hours after he took the oath of office take a step in that direction but the $760 million price tag will require approval from the Democratically controlled Legislature.

Dawn Kamber