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Office of the Governor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Governor's Press Office
Wednesday, December 18, 2019 (916) 445-4571

Governor Newsom Announces Healthy California for All Commission

 

Appointments come same day that Covered California announced that more than 230,000 new consumers have joined Covered California during the current open enrollment period – up approximately 16 percent over this time last year. More than 1.15 million people have also renewed their coverage

 

California's individual market consistently ranks among the healthiest in the nation, helping unsubsidized consumers save about $1,550 annually in 2018 on their premiums compared to consumers in the federal marketplace

 

Commission to consist of 13 voting members including chair Secretary of Health and Human Services Mark Ghaly, eight gubernatorial appointees and four legislative appointees. There are also five ex-officio, non-voting members.

 

Governor’s appointees include health experts in business, philanthropy, academia and labor

 

Commission will hold first public meeting Jan. 27 in Sacramento 

 

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the launch of the Healthy California for All Commission and appointed health experts in business, philanthropy, academia and labor to serve. The Commission will work to develop a plan for advancing progress toward achieving a health care delivery system for California that provides coverage and access through a unified financing system, including, but not limited to a single payer financing system. The Commission will prepare an initial report to the Governor and Legislature by July 2020 with a final report in February 2021. The first meeting will take place Jan. 27 in Sacramento.

 

The announcement comes on the same day as Covered California, the state’s publicly run insurance exchange, announced that a total of 230,000 new consumers have selected a plan during open enrollment through Dec.16, which is an increase of 16 percent over this time last year. In addition, more than 1.15 million existing consumers have had their plans renewed for the upcoming year. California’s individual market consistently ranks among the healthiest in the nation, helping unsubsidized consumers save about $1,550 annually in 2018 on their premiums compared to consumers in the federal marketplace.

 

“California leads the nation in enacting progressive health care reforms – taking big steps toward universal coverage and passing first in the nation measures to make health care more affordable for families,” said Governor Newsom. “As our march toward universal coverage continues I am calling on the brightest minds – from public and private sectors – to serve in the Healthy California for All Commission to improve the health of our state.

 

The commission has 13 voting members including Secretary Ghaly, eight gubernatorial appointees and four legislative appointees. There are also five ex-officio, non-voting members.

 

“We believe that every Californian should have a right to affordable health care regardless of wealth, zip code, race, disability or gender. Yet, despite many gains in coverage, nearly 3 million Californians lack health care and high costs burden too many families,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Mark Ghaly, who will chair the Commission. “The role of the Healthy California for All Commission will be to provide policy recommendations that will set us on the path toward high-quality, affordable universal coverage for all.”

 

Throughout his first year in office the Governor and legislature worked to move California closer to universal health care coverage by expanding coverage, increasing Covered California subsidies for middle-income Californians and taking on rising prescription drug prices. The 2019-20 Budget invests $1.45 billion over three years to increase Covered California health insurance premium support for low-income Californians – and provides premium support for the first time to qualified middle-income individuals earning up to $72,000 and families of four earning up to $150,000, partially funded by restoration of an enforceable Individual Mandate. It expands Medi-Cal coverage to all income-eligible undocumented young adults ages 19 through 25 and includes an increase of $1 billion, using Prop 56 funding, to support increased rates to Medi-Cal providers, expanded family planning services, and value-based payments that encourage more effective treatment of patients with chronic conditions.

 

The Governor’s appointees to the Healthy California for All Commission are:

 

Carmen Comsti, 35, of Oakland, has been appointed to the Healthy California for All Commission. Comsti has been a regulatory policy specialist at the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United since 2016. She was legal counsel at the California Nurses Association and National Nurses United from 2014 to 2016. Comsti was an attorney fellow at the Employee Rights Advocacy Institute for Law and Policy from 2012 to 2014. She is a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association. Comsti earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Comsti is a Democrat.

 

Jennie C. Hansen, 71, of San Francisco, has been appointed to the Healthy California for All Commission. Hansen has been an independent consultant at Hirsch and Associates LLC since 2018. She was chief executive officer at the American Geriatrics Society from 2010 to 2015. Hansen was a federal commissioner of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission from 2005 to 2011. She held several positions at On Lok Senior Health Services in San Francisco from 1980 to 2004, including chief executive officer, director of programs, and research associate. She is a member of the California Master Plan for Aging, the National Committee for Quality Assurance Geriatric Measures Committee and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Gerontology and Geriatrics. Hansen is a board member of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the SCAN Foundation, SCAN Plan and the Altarum Institute. Hansen earned a Master of Science degree in nursing from the University of California, San Francisco. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Hansen is a Democrat.

 

Sandra R. Hernandez, 62, of San Francisco, has been appointed to the Healthy California for All Commission. Hernandez has been president and chief executive officer at the California Health Care Foundation since 2014. She was chief executive officer at the San Francisco Foundation from 1997 to 2013. Hernandez was assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco from 1988 to 2016. She is a member of the Covered California Board of Directors and the UC Regents Health Services Committee. Hernandez is a former co-chair of San Francisco’s Universal Healthcare Council. She earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Tufts School of Medicine. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Hernandez is a Democrat.

 

William C. Hsiao, 83, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, has been appointed to the Healthy California for All Commission. Hsiao has served as a research professor of economics at the department of health policy management and the department of global health and population at Harvard University since 1974. Gates Foundation supported his research from 2008 through 2014. Vermont commissioned him to develop a single-payer health system in 2010. Hsiao was an advisor for the International Monetary Fund in 1996 and 2006. Hsiao was an advisor to the International Labor Organization from 1999 to 2003. He was an advisor for the World Health Organization from 1999 to 2000. He has served as an advisor to the World Bank since 1983.  Hsiao was an advisor at the White House from 1970 to 1979. He was an advisor for Congress from 1974 to 1987. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine for the United States National Academy of Science. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Hsiao is a Democrat.

 

Rupa Marya, 44, of Oakland, has been appointed to the Healthy California for All Commission. Marya is an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, where she has been on faculty since 2007. Marya is a member of the Board of The Mni Wiconi Health Clinic and Farm at Standing Rock. She was co-investigator of the Justice Study from 2016 to 2019 and is faculty director of the Do No Harm Coalition. Marya earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from Georgetown University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Marya is a registered without party preference.

 

Robert Ross, 65, of Altadena, has been appointed to the Healthy California for All Commission. Ross has been president and chief executive officer of the California Endowment since 2000. He was director of the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency from 1993 to 2000. Ross was commissioner of public health at the City of Philadelphia from 1990 to 1993. He was founding medical director at the LINK school-based clinic program from 1986 to 1990. Ross was an instructor of clinical medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia from 1984 to 1990. He was a diplomate at the American Academy of Pediatrics from 1983 to 1993. He is a board member of California Health Benefit Exchange and the National Executives’ Alliance on Boys and Young Men of Color. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Ross is a Democrat.

 

Richard Scheffler, 76, of Berkeley, has been appointed to the Healthy California for All Commission. Scheffler has served as a professor at the School of Public Health and the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley since 2018. He was a professor of health economics and public policy at University of California Berkeley from 1981 to 2018. He held the Health Care Markets and Consumer Welfare Chair endowed by Office of the California Attorney General from 1999 to 2018. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Scheffler is a Democrat.

 

Andy Schneider, 71, of Washington, D.C., has been appointed to the Healthy California for All Commission. Schneider has been research professor of practice at the Center for Children and Families in the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy since 2017. He was senior advisor at the Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services from 2014 to 2017. Schneider was an independent consultant from 2011 to 2014. Schneider was chief health counsel for the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce from 2009 to 2010 and for the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform from 2007 to 2009. He was health counsel at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in 1997 and an independent Medicaid consultant from 1998 to 2006. Schneider was policy advisor for Medicaid at the Office of the House Minority Leader from 1995 to 1996. He was health counsel to the subcommittee on health and environment at the House Committee on Energy and Commerce from 1979 to 1994. Schneider earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Schneider is a Democrat.

 

The Legislature’s appointees are:

  • Sara Flocks, policy coordinator with the California Labor Federation (Senate appointee);
  • Janice Rocco, deputy commissioner, health policy and reform, Department of Insurance (Senate appointee);
  • Antonia Hernandez, CEO of the California Community Foundation (Assembly appointee); and
  • Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access (Assembly appointee)

 

The Commission’s ex officio members are:

  • Richard Figueroa, acting director of the Department of Health Care Services;
  • Peter V. Lee, executive director of Covered California;
  • Don Moulds, chief health director of CalPERS;
  • Senator Richard Pan, chair of the Senate Health Committee; and
  • Assemblymember Jim Wood, chair of the Assembly Health Committee

 

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Governor Gavin Newsom
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814


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