A new law signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Tuesday gives state health insurance coverage to some illegal immigrant adults.
This new law “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.”
Medi-Cal is a state run health care coverage program for low income residents.
The authors of the bill wanted to add this to the law because federal Medicaid 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.”
According to CNN, this new program would cost the state around $98 million in 2020 when it is first implemented. It is not clear how much it would cost in additional years, as the number of illegal immigrants in this age range in the state who participate in the program is likely to vary. For 2020, 90,000 people are expected to take advantage of this law who were previously not enrolled in Medi-Cal.
California is the first state to give state-run health care coverage to illegal immigrant adults.
While this law is popular in California, not everyone in the state’s government is happy about it. State Sen. Jeff Stone (R) warned his follow elected officials in May that he thought once this law was passed, California was “going to be a magnet that is going to further attract people to a state of California that’s willing to write a blank check to anyone that wants to come here.”
He added “there’s only so much money to go around, and we should be priortizing those funds for people who are legally here in this country.