A California bill would extend health coverage to undocumented immigrants, using an Obamacare-style program to assist those left uncovered by the health care reform law.
Kaiser Health News reported that the legislation, introduced by state Sen. Ricardo Lara, a Democrat, would use state dollars to pay for Medicaid coverage for low-income residents who are in the state illegally. No federal funding would be used.
It would also establish an online marketplace where undocumented immigrants with higher incomes could buy private insurance.
Up to 2.6 million undocumented immigrants live in California, where they can currently receive emergency medical care and pregnancy care. About 1 million of them are estimated to be uninsured, according to KHN.
“While we’ve made enormous strides to reduce California’s uninsured population with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, we won’t have a truly healthy state until everyone has access to quality, affordable coverage,” Lara said in a statement.
Anti-illegal immigration groups blasted the bill, which attracted 16 co-sponsors in the state senate, KHN reported.
“There isn’t anything [the California legislature] is not going to give people who are in the country illegally,” said, Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform.