California Offers Illegal Immigrants Taxpayer-Funded Health Care

(Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO / AFP) (Photo by SUZANNE CORDEIRO/AFP via Getty Images)

Julianna Frieman Contributor
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California is set to become the first state to offer illegal immigrants taxpayer-funded health care.

Undocumented migrants in California will be eligible to receive Medi-Cal, the state’s version of the federal Medicare program, starting Jan. 1, according to ABC News.

Illegal immigrants previously did not meet the criteria to receive comprehensive health insurance at the state level, only being able to accept emergency and pregnancy-related services, the outlet reported. However, the Medi-Cal change allows undocumented immigrants who have resided in California since 2014 and do not exceed the income limit to benefit from this service.

Approximately 700,000 illegal immigrants in the state between the age of 26 and 49 will qualify for full coverage under the Medi-Cal expansion, California State Sen. María Elena Durazo said, according to the outlet.

“This historic investment speaks to California’s commitment to health care as a human right,” Durazo said in a statement in May. (RELATED: Sustained Inflation Is Ratcheting Up Healthcare Costs For Working Americans)

Undocumented child migrants qualified for Medi-Cal in 2015 after former California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law, according to the outlet. Current California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law in 2019 expanding coverage for illegal immigrants ages 19 to 25, which will now be expanded to cover migrants up to age 50 starting in 2024.

“In California, we believe everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care coverage – regardless of income or immigration status,” Gov. Newsom’s office told ABC News. “Through this expansion, we’re making sure families and communities across California are healthier, stronger, and able to get the care they need when they need it.”