Politics

Newsom Proposes Giving Illegal Immigrants HealthCare

Written by William Hale

California may become the first state to offer healthcare coverage for all illegal immigrants. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposed $286.4 billion dollar budget would provide coverage for illegal immigrants ages 26-55, which is the last demographic left uninsured by California’s Medicaid program. 

Immigrants under the age of 26 received coverage by the state for the first time in 2019, and ages 55 and over were covered the following year. Newsom expects state legislators to implement universal coverage for immigrants by 2024. On top of the $1.3 billion dollar cost required for the 55 and over population, California taxpayers should expect to pay $2.4 billion per year with the finalized coverage extension to all immigrants. Progressive legislators in Sacramento have also proposed a universal healthcare system, which would be paid for by a number of tax hikes. 

The state has declared a number of issues as “existential threats”. These include  COVID, wildfires, droughts, homelessness, and crime. But also considered a threat is income inequality, and lack of insurance among illegal immigrants was lumped in with income inequality. Newsom has proposed putting $2 billion into homelessness projects, which includes mental health services and cleaning up homeless encampments which have become more and more common in large cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. That is on top of the already $12 billion from last year. Newsom has also proposed $2.7 billion in COVID spending, much of it going towards testing which the state has dropped the ball on. Republican Assembly Leader Marie Waldron said in regards to Newsom’s budget on the whole, “But look at the details and you’ll see that much of this spending isn’t going to transformative projects to improve the lives of Californians, but rather to clean up from years of Democratic mismanagement.”

While Newsom may tout the $31 billion surplus, the state is still suffering from a massive debt that the state owes the federal government. Rather than spend the money on paying off that debt or working on projects that help Californians, Newsom has decided to spend the money on projects that will score him political points.

Photo Cred: Rich Pedroncelli | AP