The state of California will become the first state that will pay for some adults living in the country illegally to have full health benefits, this as the liberal state continue to resist the Trump Administration policies.
An agreement was reached, by the Democrats in the states, on Sunday as part of a much broader plan to spend $213 billion of the state and federal tax money over the next fiscal year. The deal is expected to be approved by the legislature this week. The agreement means low-income adults between the ages of 19 and 25 living in California illegally would be eligible for California’s Medicaid program, the joint state and federal health insurance program for the poor and disabled.
The health benefits will only be given to those in that age group whose incomes are low enough to qualify. State officials estimate that group will be about 90,000 people at a cost of $98 million per year. The state Senate had wanted to expand the proposal to include adults 65 and older, but the Newsom administration argued it would cost too much.
According to state Senator Holly Mitchell, a Los Angeles Democrat who led the budget negotiations said “California believes that health is a fundamental right.”
The move is part of a larger effort to make sure everyone in California has health insurance. The proposal also makes California the first state in the country to help middle-income families pay their monthly health insurance premiums. However, to pay for part of it, the state will begin taxing people who don’t have health insurance.
The budget must still be approved by the State Legislature in its entirety. State law requires lawmakers to enact a budget by midnight on June 15. If they don’t, lawmakers would lose their pay. Republicans on the legislative committee negotiating the budget voted against the proposal, arguing it was not fair to give health benefits to people who are in the country illegally while taxing people who are here legally for not purchasing health insurance.
Although the Democrats did not get all that they wanted, this is still viewed as a win for them.