/California to become the first state to extend health benefits to some who live in US illegally
California to become the first state to extend health benefits to some who live in US illegally

California to become the first state to extend health benefits to some who live in US illegally

California to become the first state

To extend health benefits to some

who live in US illegally

Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a $213.5 billion state budget that boosts spending on homelessness, wildfire prevention and K-12 education.
The Star, Wochit

California was poised Monday to become the first state to provide health care coverage to young, low-income adults living in the country illegally after legislative leaders provided a thumbs-up to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s $98 million plan targeting almost 100,000 low-income adults.

The full Legislature still must sign off on the plan that would make such immigrants 19 to 25 eligible for Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. The deal was a win for Newsom, who rejected as too expensive a state Senate plan to include adults 65 and older.

Anthony Wright, executive director of the advocacy group Health Access, said further expansion of the program could come in the future.

“We will continue to pursue steps towards the Governor’s & Legislature’s shared goal of getting to universal coverage in the next few years,” Wright posted on Twitter.

The move is part of a larger effort to ensure everyone in the state has access to health insurance. The proposal also makes California the first state to subsidize insurance for middle-income families. A family of four earning as much as six times the federal poverty level – or more than $150,000 a year – would be eligible for $100 a month from the government to help pay for insurance. Newsom had initially balked at the subsidy but ultimately relented.

Lawmakers have until Saturday to approve the budget or face losing their pay.

“California believes that health is a fundamental right,” said state Sen. Holly Mitchell, a Los Angeles Democrat who led the budget negotiations.

But to pay for part of it, the state will begin taxing people who don’t have health insurance. The plan is similar to a part of President Barack Obama’s health care law that Republicans in Congress eliminated as part of the 2017 overhaul to the tax code.

Republicans on the legislative committee negotiating the budget voted against the proposal, arguing it was not fair to give health benefits to people who are in the country illegally while taxing people who are here legally for not purchasing health insurance.

Contributing: The Associated Press

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/06/10/california-health-care-immigrants-insurance/1406629001/