California has become the first state in the union to guarantee free healthcare to immigrants in the U.S. illegally. State officials estimate that there are 764,000 of them in California.
Cost of coverage is a whopping $2.7 billion a year.
In signing his $307.9 billion operating budget, California Governor Gavin Newsom pledged to cover all low-income adults in the state’s Medicaid program by 2024 — regardless of their immigration status.
Conservative groups and Republicans in California — as you probably already know — oppose the new law that expands coverage. Jon Coupal is the president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association. He warns this will make California “a magnet for those who are not legally authorized to enter the country.”
Coupal’s take is similar to others of conservative leanings. However, he said he — and others — understand the plight of the illegals in this country. “I think many of us are very sympathetic to the immigrant community,” Coupal said. “But we really wish we had better control of who enters this nation and this state.”
Anthony Wright heads up Health Access California. He approves.
“This will represent the biggest expansion of coverage in the nation since the start of the Affordable Care Act in 2014,” he said. “In California we recognize (that) everybody benefits when everyone is covered.
In the beginning this will not be a bed of roses for the poor in California. Some federal Medicaid programs are ending about the time California rolls out the new policy. That means some 40,000 low-income immigrants will likely lose their healthcare coverage for up to a year.
The Newsom administration says that can’t be helped. It’s going to take a year and a half to get the program expansion in place.
By the way, free healthcare given low income individuals around the country is not uncommon. Since Medicaid is largely funded by the federal government, those here illegally are not covered so states like California shovel some tax dollars into the program every year to pay for those costs.
That will now change dramatically in California.
Currently, 92% of Californians are covered by some form of health insurance. Since those in the state illegally make up a huge portion of the uncovered in California, that will put the state among the elite in terms of a population that is close to fully covered.
Another quick fact. The Kaiser Family Foundation says about 7% of the U.S. population is here illegally. That figure comes from information Kaiser gathered in 2020. It’s about 22.1 million people.
Source link: Insurance Business America — https://bit.ly/3P6ETJc
California Guarantees Free Healthcare to Illegal Immigrants
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