California Budget Deal Calls for Healthcare for Undocumented Immigrants

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On Tuesday, a proposed Budget Deal that will be voted on later this week in the California State Assembly calls for a $214.8 billion budget, which includes health insurance for illegal immigrants.

The document, Floor Report 2019-20 State Budget, was released by Assemblymember Phil Ting which is a 135 page document that accompanies his Assembly Bill 74.

Health Care. The budget package continues California’s progress toward universal, affordable health care for all. It bolsters Covered California plans, including providing additional subsidies to help low-income and middle-income Californians purchase affordable health care coverage.

It expands Medi-Cal to more aged, blind, and disabled seniors, as well as eligible residents who need post-partum mental health services. It approves Governor Newsom’s proposal to expand Medi-Cal in order to increase health care access for young adults ages 19-25, regardless of immigration status. The budget restores most “optional” Medi-Cal benefits that were slashed during the last recession and funds student mental health services in schools and colleges.

On Page 6 of the document under the Department of Health Care Services, it notes:

  • Approves of the full-scope Medi-Cal expansion for young adults, regardless of immigration status, beginning January 1, 2020

Meanwhile on page 12, it restores the healthcare mandate through the Franchise Tax Board which would mandate penalties of $695 to anyone who does not purchase healthcare.

It has been estimated that this portion of the budget will cost taxpayers roughly $100 million to provide coverage to about 90,000 undocumented individuals in year 1. Earlier this year, a Senate plan proposed health benefits to undocumented immigrants for seniors 65 and older, but failed to pass out of committee.

The State Legislator will take up the Budget Proposal on Thursday and lawmakers have until June 15 to enact a new budget.

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