California Pushes the Limits Again With Health Care For Illegal Aliens
By Shari Rendall | June 13, 2019
California’s legislature and governor appear headed for a showdown over health benefits for illegal aliens as they approach a June 15 deadline to pass a budget. But regardless of what details they iron out, the real losers will be the Golden State’s legal residents and taxpayers. The only question is just how much more of their money Sacramento is going to spend.
Medi-Cal, the state’s low-income health coverage program equivalent to Medicaid, already covers illegal aliens under the age of 19, as well as all pregnant women. Governor Gavin Newsom (D) wants to spend an additional estimated $98 million to cover illegal aliens aged 19 to 26. The state Senate would like to add illegal aliens over the age of 65, for an additional $94.5 million. Even more outrageous, the Assembly wants to cover all illegal aliens of any age, which is projected to cost $3.4 billion. That’s apparently too much even for Gov. Newsom, who called it “3.4 billion reasons why it’s a challenge[.]”
Meanwhile, the number of Califoria’s underserved homeless population – which includes a significant number of U.S. veterans – continue to live in squalid conditions and their numbers grow.
Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) said in support of the Senate proposal that illegal aliens “work in our hotels, they work picking the fruit and vegetables, they work as landscapers, they work in hospitals … I don’t think they should be treated differently from other Californians.” Even though, of course, federal law prohibits employing illegal aliens.
Senator Jeff Stone (R-La Quinta) reacted with justified bewilderment, saying, “[w]e’re going to penalize the citizens of this state that have followed the rules, but we’re going to let somebody who has not followed the rules come in here and get the services for free. I just think that’s wrong[.]”
Under state law, the budget has to pass by June 15 or legislators forfeit their pay.
California is expected to have a $21.5 billion budget surplus this year. But its tax burden is one of the highest in the country. That money could be spent on any other priority besides illegal aliens. Or it could just be returned to the taxpayers.