State Watch

California governor signs legislation extending health care to undocumented immigrants

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Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) signed a state budget into law Tuesday making California the first state in the nation to offer health coverage to some immigrants without legal status under its Medicaid program.

The budget extends health care benefits to California residents 19-25 years of age regardless of their immigration status. 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.

{mosads}California already offers health care to residents under 19 years old regardless of their immigration status. The new law extends that coverage, under its Medi-Cal program, to an expanded age group.

According to Covered California, the website for the state’s health care marketplace, Medi-Cal “offers free or low-cost health coverage for children and adults with limited income and resources.”

The budget also provides support to middle-class families with monthly health insurance premiums, which will be paid for by reviving an individual mandate penalty, part of the Affordable Care Act, taxing individuals who do not have health insurance.

Newsom proposed both of the budget’s health care policies. However, he shrugged off calls from lawmakers that the provision about immigrants should cover all adults, noting it would cost $3.4 billion.

Tags California Gavin Newsom Health care Health insurance Illegal immigration

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