California legislators launch push to expand health care coverage to undocumented immigrants

State Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, is renewing his push to reform health care in California, this time proposing new legislation to cover illegal immigrants’ health care.

“Two years ago we passed #Health4All children in California & now the Senate is fighting to cover our seniors in the CA budget. #Health4AllElders is the answer to every child who asked: What about my grandfather? What about my abuela? They deserve to age with dignity and security,” Lara tweeted to promote the bill.

While Lara originally intended to have the bill cover all undocumented immigrants, the bill was reportedly amended in the Senate appropriations process. It now covers minors up to 19 and undocumented adults 65 years and older. 

Currently, most illegal immigrants in the state rely on emergency rooms for care – a reality that drives up health care costs for everyone in the state, supporters of the bill argue.

Lara, who’s currently running for insurance commissioner in Tuesday’s primary, has taken several steps in defiance of the Trump agenda, putting himself at the center of the so-called “resistance” – like his failed efforts to pass a universal health care bill last year.

More broadly, it comes at a time of rising health care costs in the Golden State, with about 60 percent of the state’s uninsured being those here illegally.

“It has been 32 years since Congress last passed comprehensive immigration reform for those already living in the U.S., and their failure should not fall on our elders’ shoulders,” Lara added in a press release. “Dysfunction in Washington and Trump’s constant attacks on immigrants should not distract California from doing the right thing and extend health care to those who have given so much to our state.”

And in the Assembly, a similar bill has passed. Introduced by Democratic State Assemblyman Dr. Joaquin Arambula, that legislation expands the Medi-Cal program to cover undocumented young adults up to age 26.

“The Medi-Cal program is, in part, governed and funded by federal Medicaid program provisions,” Assembly Bill 2965 reads. “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.”

Offering such coverage would cost the state around $3 billion next year, according to California’s Legislative Analyst’s Office.

However, the bill comes with the risk of heavy political blowback, with Republicans in the state already energized in opposition to California’s sanctuary state law and the gas tax heading into the November elections.

“It’s another freebie given by an out-of-control Legislature,” GOP gubernatorial candidate John Cox recently said on Fox News about the policy. “We’re a compassionate society but there’s a limit on what we can afford to do.”


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  1. VintageVet
    VintageVet 5 June, 2018, 14:34

    As seniors living on what savings we worked hard for, our Social Security pittance and zero debt, which in the aggregate amounts to a bare living wage in California these days, I cannot for the life of me understand how someone like State Senator Lara can conclude that taking more of the little we have to bestow upon known criminals of dubious histories and origins for the sole purpose of enhancing the quality of their lives at the cost of diminishing ours is anything other than a grossly unconscionable, immoral act if not outright un-constitutional (US). I can only guess his actions have nothing to do with compassion but are no more than self serving pandering to secure his position and power.

    Reply this comment
  2. barnabas18
    barnabas18 5 June, 2018, 15:26

    This is not the hill for liberals to die on. We have to take care of immigration law first. There are many hardworking citizens who may or may not have insurance.

    Reply this comment
    • Ted Trumpy P Grabber Trumpsteak
      Ted Trumpy P Grabber Trumpsteak 19 June, 2018, 09:01

      Of course the Party of Trump (former GOP) has done ALL it can to ruin the ACA where many working poor are insured….oh….and of course offer no replacement….. 11-18 is coming!

      Reply this comment
  3. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 5 June, 2018, 15:27

    The Democratic Party the party of Treason,Traitors,and Big Brother the states entire legislators and lawmakers including Moonbeam Brown need to be arrested tried convicted and given life in prison

    Reply this comment
    • Ulysses Uhaul
      Ulysses Uhaul 6 June, 2018, 22:23

      You will beg….beg for the return of Captain Medfly!

      Reply this comment
    • Teddy, your GURU
      Teddy, your GURU 19 June, 2018, 08:57

      Party of treason?

      I think you mean the guy who ran the campaign where folks were indicted, Russian mob figures gave funds, lobbyists forgot to register as foreign agents, cooperated and courted WikiLeaks to support a Russian influence campaign, he proclaimed allegiance to Putin, and saluted NK generals…..right? That Guy’s party?

      Reply this comment
  4. Dude McCool
    Dude McCool 5 June, 2018, 18:40

    They’re NOT immigrants. They’re ILLEGAL aliens. Stop with the lying already.

    Reply this comment
    • T Ted Trumpsteaks BK
      T Ted Trumpsteaks BK 19 June, 2018, 08:52

      They are immigrants little buddy– unless they have entered unlawfully which is only a misdemeanor —

      Ya think the pilgrims had visas? Please at least try to curtail at least 5% of your racism Trumpaloopa….

      Reply this comment
      • Who Else
        Who Else 21 June, 2018, 15:40

        If they entered illegally then they should be deported. It doesn’t matter where they come from end of story.

        Reply this comment
        • Education
          Education 2 July, 2018, 18:27

          Exactly. Let all the lefties create a fund and put money into it to maintain all the illegal people. No tax payer funds for illegal purposes. Period.

          Reply this comment
      • Education
        Education 2 July, 2018, 14:39

        You are in the 21st century now and not in the 1800’s when “Pilgrims” were needed to come into the country. Educate yourself.

        Reply this comment
  5. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 5 June, 2018, 21:50

    yep. Pack and Ship with Uly…..

    Reply this comment
  6. Goe East, Young Man
    Goe East, Young Man 6 June, 2018, 08:04

    You boys ready for Pretty Boy Newsom for ruler of Commiefornia?

    You thought the Old Brown Buzzard was bad? Well, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

    Better hope Uhaul Boy has more specials on back and ship.

    Reply this comment
    • Ulysses Uhaul
      Ulysses Uhaul 6 June, 2018, 14:57

      Always think of Uly!!!!!!

      June special is remarkable…a full blown glossy photo of Vicious and Baby aggressively ripping the pants of a high school football dummy….gruesome…useful for you Adelanto types to put on your front doors…help deter home invasion types!

      Pack and Ship

      Reply this comment
  7. ricky65
    ricky65 6 June, 2018, 09:27

    This is an absolute obscenity. I have friends who work full time and still cannot afford health insurance. They go to work everyday hoping they don’t end up needing expensive medical care.
    And yet this disgusting POS Lara would use the tax money of working citizens to give free care to illegal aliens?
    This will not stand. Even the corrupt D-Rats can still overplay their hand.

    Reply this comment
  8. Hcat
    Hcat 6 June, 2018, 18:20

    Far from being excluded from health care, the illegals are precisely the people that should be REQUIRED to purchase insurance by mandate. That, or leave.

    Reply this comment
  9. Theodore S.
    Theodore S. 6 June, 2018, 21:48

    Doomers NEVER want to help the poor– classic—- of course many of them attend church regularly—- lmao– hypocrites

    Reply this comment
    • Sean
      Sean 7 June, 2018, 06:40

      It’s not just the rich paying for expanded healthcare coverage. By taking a substantial discount on Medicare and Medicaid paid for healthcare, the privately insured have to pay 75% more for the care provided. That’s why the average 4 person household spends $27k for healthcare related expenses with almost half out of pocket.

      Reply this comment
      • Sean
        Sean 7 June, 2018, 08:41

        One more thing, 31% of CA residents have Medicaid, 14% have Medicare, 9% are uninsured which leaves 46% with private health insurance. This suggests that roughly half the 75% premium is for the privately insured and the other half are for those with government insurance or those without any coverage. This works out to a nearly $6k transfer payment made through the healthcare industry for a typical 4 person household with private insurance and it’s paid with no regard to income or ability to pay. It’s a horrendously regressive tax.

        Reply this comment
  10. Queeg
    Queeg 6 June, 2018, 21:56

    All Sullen Comrades

    Noose will clean you out. Coming for your CASA too.

    Reply this comment
  11. copy transfer
    copy transfer 24 February, 2023, 05:30

    Reading your article helped me a lot and I agree with you. But I still have some doubts, can you clarify for me? I’ll keep an eye out for your answers.

    Reply this comment

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