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CA Governor Signs Bill Extending Health Care To Illegal Immigrants

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On Tuesday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law State Bill 104, which now extends health care benefits to illegal immigrants between the ages of 19-25, in addition to the law that already had guaranteed coverage to illegal immigrants under the age of 19.

 

The Hill noted, “The bill, introduced earlier this year, is estimated to cover about 90,000 low-income residents overall and comes with a roughly $98 million price tag.”

The bill states:

The federal Medicaid program prohibits payment to a state for medical assistance furnished to an alien who is not lawfully admitted for permanent residence or otherwise permanently residing in the United States under color of law.

Existing law requires that individuals under 19 years of age enrolled in restricted-scope Medi-Cal at the time the Director of Health Care Services makes a determination that systems have been programmed for implementation of these provisions be enrolled in the full scope of Medi-Cal benefits, if otherwise eligible. Existing law requires the department to maximize federal financial participation in implementing the provisions.

This bill would extend eligibility for full-scope Medi-Cal benefits to individuals 19 to 25 years of age, inclusive, and who are otherwise eligible for those benefits but for their immigration status. This bill would additionally require the department to claim federal financial participation to the extent that the department determines it is available, and to the extent that federal financial participation is not available, would require the department to use state funds. Because counties are required to make eligibility determinations and this bill would expand Medicaid eligibility, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Newsom was elected last November; before that, last August, he said that he planned on expanding Medicare to cover every Californian, even illegal immigrants. Newsom stated:

 

I’d like to see if we can control our own destiny. I’m not naive about it. I did universal health care when I was mayor, fully implemented regardless of pre-existing conditions, ability to pay, and regardless of your immigration status. San Francisco is the only universal health care system for all undocumented residents in America, very proud of that. We proved it could be done without bankrupting the city. I’d like to see that we can extend that to the rest of the state.

In September, Newsom doubled down, saying, "I did universal health care when I was mayor, fully implemented, regardless of pre-existing condition, ability to pay, and regardless of your immigration status. I'd like to see that extended to the rest of the state."

 

President Trump, speaking at a Montana rally last September, responded to Newsom’s statement by calling out, “How about the governor, governorship of California. He just announced that he wants to open borders, and he wants to let anybody come in that wants to. And then he wants to pay for all medical, all school … What happens, I said, if the entire world decides to go to California because they get free health care, free medical care, and free education. California has just increased in size to 500 million people. I may even move to California to get free health care!”

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