California OKs healthcare for some adult immigrants

Calif. set to give full health care benefits to illegal immigrants — and taxpayers will foot the bill

California lawmakers released a final draft of the state's 2020 budget late Sunday evening that would expand health care to illegal immigrants and cost taxpayers almost $100 million per year. But it is also a time when Democrats are seeking a pathway to get more uninsured people covered.

This follows the agreement made between legislative leaders on Sunday, June 9, which is part of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom's broader budget deal. State officials estimate that group will be about 90,000 people at a cost of $98 million per year. The coverage would take effect in 2020.

An Assembly bill called for covering all illegal immigrants above the age of 19. Some 240,000 children are now in the program, which began in 2016.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the California Immigrant Policy Center said that the effort to include young adults in the Medi-Cal expansion is "a clear step forward". About $3 billion of the increase in 2019-20 is attributable to plans to end a tax on managed care organizations, according to the budget document.

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While the Trump administration is painting undocumented immigrants as unsafe, Cynthia Buiza, executive director of the advocacy group California Immigrant Policy Center, argues that healthier immigrants can be more productive.

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"These complex proposals require a lot of scrutiny to fully understand the consequences - both good and bad", said Assemblyman Chad Mayes (R-Yucca Valley), the vice chairman of the Assembly Health Committee.

The proposal also constitutes a double rebuke of USA president Donald Trump - who in addition to scrapping Obama's individual mandate as part of his 2017 tax plan is desperately trying to slow the surge of illegal aliens into this country.

The penalty has similarities to the so-called "particular particular person mandate" which had been federal law after the passage of the Cheap Healthcare Act, additionally identified as Obamacare, till Republicans in Congress eradicated it in 2017.

Other Democrats are also seeking to show their commitment to expanding health care coverage, including for undocumented immigrants.

Health coverage under the budget plan will not be provided to all immigrants - and only to those that qualify under the state's version of Medicaid - the federal low income health programme that was expanded under President Obama.

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