Jun 10, 2019

California to expand health insurance to some undocumented immigrants

Mi Pueblo clinic is just one of two dozen or so facilities in Orange County that vie for customers among the large, often uninsured immigrant population in Orange County.

Clinica Mi Pueblo in Anaheim, California. Photo: Geraldine Wilkins/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California is set to become the first U.S. state to pay for some undocumented immigrants to have full health benefits paid for by taxpayers, the Sacramento Bee first reported Sunday.

Details: State Legislature Democrats agreed as part of a $213 billion state budget approval Sunday to expand California’s Medicaid program to eligible low-income 19- to 25-year-olds, covering 90,000 more people at a cost of $98 million, per AP.

Why it matters: The move, proposed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, is likely to irk President Trump. The pair have already clashed on several issues. California has been spearheading liberal states' fight against Trump in the lead-up to the 2020 elections.

The big picture: The proposed budget would also make California the first U.S. state to help families earning up to 6 times the federal poverty level pay for their monthly health insurance premiums, according to AP. The state would tax people without health insurance to pay for part of it.

The other side: Legislative committee Republicans voted against the plan because they said it was unfair to give health benefits to people who are in the country illegally while taxing those in the U.S. legally for not having health insurance, per AP.

What's next? The budget agreement must still get approval from the full state Legislature, but it's expected to be approved as it's dominated by Democrats. Lawmakers have until June 15 to pass the plan, which is due to come into effect Jan. 1, 2020, the Sacramento Bee reports.

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