(DailyVantage.com) – Controversial Governor Gavin Newsom is making national headlines yet again, this time due to his announcement that California would use taxpayer money to provide health care to 764,000 illegal immigrants. Newsom’s announcement drew heavy criticism, as California is already providing over one million illegal immigrants with healthcare through taxpayer funds. California intends to give immigrants healthcare through Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program. Of the 39 million people living in California, approximately 13 million actively use Medi-Cal.
Newsom’s announcement is the latest instance of California providing immigrants with healthcare, a process that started in 2015. In 2015, undocumented children became eligible for Medi-Cal. In 2019, the process expanded to include any undocumented adults over the age of 50. Newsom’s latest planned expansion of Medi-Cal adds undocumented adults aged between 26 and 49 years old and will cost California residents over three billion dollars. Newsom’s plan would require an additional $4,058 per person from taxpayers. Newsom’s plan also violates the federal government’s policy regarding Medicaid, which only provides health care to those legally residing in the United States.
Medi-Cal is the most significant expense for California without Newsom’s proposed expansion and costs the state approximately $455 billion annually. California’s state government contributes about $130 billion to Medi-Cal, but California’s legal residents pay for the rest. The expansion to Medi-Cal is the latest initiative from California’s leadership, which aims to provide universal healthcare to those in the region. The primary argument from California lawmakers is that federal law requires hospitals to provide medical treatment to anyone, regardless of citizenship status or financial hardship. According to California politicians like Newsom, expanding Medi-Cal is less expensive than requiring hospitals to render medical aid to anyone.
The proposed expansion to Medi-Cal comes as California faces a record-breaking deficit of about $68 billion. Without expanding the program to provide illegal immigrants with healthcare, California’s leadership has to reduce spending by over 20%. Newsom is facing criticism from other California lawmakers, including Roger Niello, a Republican state senator for California. Niello demanded that Newsom solve the looming budgetary crisis in California, claiming that using more taxpayer funds to expand social programs isn’t a feasible policy while California remains in debt. Despite Niello’s statements, Newsom intends to move forward with the Medi-Cal expansion and will likely receive support from the Biden administration.
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