(KTXL) — A group of demonstrators in favor of Medicare for all Californians pressed Governor Gavin Newsom on a campaign promise as he spoke briefly at the California Democratic Convention Saturday.
After an introduction from his wife Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Gov. Newsom took the stage on the second full day of his party’s state convention in Los Angeles for a roughly five-minute speech during which he struck out at Republican leaders in red states.
However, as the initial applause quieted, some in the crowd held up banners saying “Love it! Improve it! Medicare for all!” and chanted continuously throughout the governor’s speech.
During his initial campaign for governor, Newsom voiced support for a single-payer healthcare system but has since backed more incremental change, including last year’s expansion of the state’s Medi-Cal plan to residents over 50 regardless of immigration status.
During the 2022 legislative session, a bill to create a “universal single-payer health care coverage and a health care cost control system for the benefit of all residents” died in California Senate without a full vote.
This year, State Senator Scott Weiner introduced a bill requiring the Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency to begin pursuing “waiver discussions with the federal government” for creating a statewide single-payer healthcare system.
The governor acknowledged the demonstrators before going into his prepared remarks.
“I want to just express first and foremost my appreciation, my respect for all of you that are exercising your rights in a free expression,” Newsom said. “This is the free state of California. Eat your heart out Florida and Texas.”