Senators Introduce Bill To Bar States From Using Federal Dollars To Subsidize Health Care For Illegal Immigrants
ARRIAGA, MEXICO - JANUARY 8: A migrant carries a Venezuelan flag while advancing in a caravan, in Arriaga, Mexico, on January 8, 2024.
Credit: Photo by Jose Torres/Anadolu via Getty Images.

Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced a bill on Thursday that would block states from being able to use federal funding to subsidize state programs that provide health care for illegal immigrants. 

The legislation, known as the “Protect Medicaid Act,” would prevent federal Medicaid “funding for the administrative costs of providing health benefits to individuals who are unauthorized immigrants.” Co-sponsors of the legislation include Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Barrasso (R-WY), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS). 

According to Cassidy’s office, the bill “prohibits federal money from being spent on administering state Medicaid benefits paid for by American citizens to noncitizens. If a state chooses to give Medicaid benefits to illegal residents, the bill ensures that state does so entirely on its own dime, without any costs to taxpayers in other states.”

The legislation comes as California expands its Medicaid program to provide free health care for about 700,000 illegal immigrants in the state. The expansion is projected to cost the state more than $3 billion. Oregon has a similar program on the books. 

“Medicaid for migrants is a magnet for more illegal immigration,” Cassidy said. “This is terrible public policy for California citizens who depend on Medicaid, middle-class families paying taxes, and state debt. Taking care of the most vulnerable Americans should be our priority. Attempting to provide health care to everyone around the globe for free is not possible or feasible. Compassion that cannot be sustained is not compassion.”


The bill would also mandate that the inspector general for the Department of Health Care and Human Services produce a report on states that fund health care for illegal immigrants. 

The report would provide, “a description of States’ methods of financing State programs that provide health benefits to noncitizens who are ineligible for medical assistance due to not having a satisfactory immigration status, including through the increased use of provider taxes and intergovernmental transfers to finance the non-Federal share of expenditures under the State Medicaid program for medical assistance provided to individuals who are not so ineligible.”

Blackburn said that programs to provide state funding for health care for illegal immigrants were unfair and jeopardized the health care of Americans.

“Tennesseans and the American people do not want their tax dollars subsidizing Medicaid for illegal immigrants,” she said. “Not only is it unfair to hardworking citizens, but it incentivizes more illegal immigration and puts the care of millions of Americans on the back burner.”

The legislation comes as the U.S. southern border has been inundated with a surge of illegal immigrants. In December, Border Patrol recorded about 300,000 foreign national encounters, an all-time high. A report from last year estimated that illegal immigration could cost American taxpayers up to $451 billion. 

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Senators Introduce Bill To Bar States From Using Federal Dollars To Subsidize Health Care For Illegal Immigrants