According to Gov. Jerry Brown’s top policy aide, Brown wants to let illegal immigrants protected by Barack Obama’s new executive amnesty become eligible for state-funded Medi-Cal coverage.
Nancy McFadden, speaking Wednesday at an event run by the leftist Public Policy Institute of California, implied that one hurdle to Brown’s action would be the cost, according to the Los Angeles Times: “We’re still evaluating, but the president’s recent action on undocumented immigrants could perhaps open a door for more coverage of more people under Medi-Cal. We’re looking at that. That, of course, is going to cost money.”
McFadden pointed out that Medi-Cal has 2 million more Californians drawing from it than in 2012, but argued that providing healthcare coverage for more Californians would enable people to escape poverty. The increase in Medi-Cal enrollment just happened to occur as ObamaCare was implemented.
At present, the Times notes, illegal immigrants cannot access subsidized health insurance from ObamaCare and are also ineligible for Medicaid, known as Medi-Cal in California. If Brown’s plan succeeds, over one million illegal immigrants in California could reap the benefits of Medi-Cal.
The AP reports that California is expected to spend more than $17 billion on Medi-Cal in 2014, up 3.5 percent a year ago, according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office. Up to 2.6 million illegal immigrants live in the state.
Joe Guzzardi, a spokesman for Californians for Population Stabilization, said, according to the AP: “There are millions of Californians who don’t have health care insurance or have to pay for their health care insurance out of their own pockets. So it seems unfair to have legislation that provides for people who came to the United States unlawfully to be rewarded with a health care plan.”