This Wednesday, lawmakers in California’s Senate Health Committee will consider whether taxpayers should foot the healthcare bill for approximately one million illegal immigrants in the Golden State who are without insurance.
Senate Bill 4, also known as the Health For All Act, would use funding from the state’s Medi-Cal program to provide medical care for undocumented immigrants. The program provides emergency care and pregnancy-related services, among other medical services, for poor Californians regardless of their legal status. This is made possible through President Obama’s Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
“Californians who are granted DACA or DAPA become eligible for comprehensive Medi-Cal coverage under state policy if otherwise eligible based on income,” reads a joint report from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education this past March.
According to the local CBS News affiliate in Sacramento, healthcare providers, students, and supporters gathered in front of the state Capitol on Monday to support SB4, suggesting that taxpayers are already paying too much. Illegals often won’t go for regular doctors visits in an attempt to avoid costs. Instead, they wait until they need to be hospitalized — which is far more expensive.
San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo has been drafted as the celebrity pitchman for the bill, CBS notes. In a recent commercial he said, “No matter who you are or [where] you were born, healthcare is a basic human right.”
Yet, others don’t agree that Californians should have to pay for someone else’s insurance when they can’t even afford to pay for their own. “I wouldn’t want to pay for their medical insurance, since I don’t have any of my own. I don’t think I should get a special tax to pay for somebody else’s inability to pay for their own stuff,” Scott Perry told CBS News.
With rising costs and California’s crippling drought only driving prices up further, footing the bill for potentially millions of undocumented immigrants would likely further strain taxpayer’s wallets. “Without money from Congress and President Obama, it will be very difficult and costly for California taxpayers to fund all of these bill proposals,” Senate Republican leader Bob Huff recently said.
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