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Governor Newsom Touts Health Care Spending In Visit To San Diego

Governor Gavin Newsom speaks at 211 San Diego, while standing in front of sta...

Photo by Nicholas McVicker

Above: Governor Gavin Newsom speaks at 211 San Diego, while standing in front of state Senator Toni Atkins on Friday August 9, 2019.

Governor Gavin Newsom was in San Diego Friday touting the state's efforts to make health care more affordable for middle-class families.

"No state in the country is doing what California is doing on health care," he said during a visit to 2-1-1, a health care information nonprofit.

Newsom said a lot of attention is focused on tax dollars going toward Medi-Cal coverage for undocumented immigrants, while other spending goes unnoticed.

"It’s interesting how much attention ⁠— I get it and it’s understandable ⁠— that was given to health care regardless of your immigration status," Newsom said."But what’s equally remarkable was how little attention was given to the expansion of our subsidies into the middle class."

The new state budget includes subsidies that can be as much as $172 a month for families of four earning up to $150,000," Newsom said.

He went on to say that universal health care is something the state can do and will be able to pay for.

"Our goal is universal health care," Newsom said. "We’re not there yet."

But when asked for specifics, the governor was vague. "We’re getting closer and closer every year," he said. "We’ll pay for it within those constraints that we set aside."

Newsom also addressed the recent mass shootings in Ohio and Texas, saying while Congress fights over gun control legislation, the state is taking action.

"We’ll continue to do more on red flag laws on other means and mechanisms to make our citizens more safe," Newsom said. "I should note California’s gun safety laws have outperformed the rest of the nation. Gun safety save lives."

RELATED: Suspected Poway Synagogue Shooter Used Hunting License To Buy AR-15

A KPBS reporter asked Newsom, who was joined by state Senate Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, about what many call a loophole in California’s law that allowed the young man suspected of opening fire in a Poway synagogue earlier this year to buy an AR-15 rifle.

You must be 21 to purchase a rifle or a shotgun in California. But the law grants an exception to those with a hunting license. That is how the 19-year-old accused of killing one and injuring three in the shooting bought his gun.

"We’re looking at that," Atkins said. "We’ve already noted that and there may be legislation to close that loophole by the end of our session that the governor will hopefully sign."

Newsom added: "If you can’t get a drink at a bar — enough said."

Listen to this story by Matt Hoffman.

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