California Democrats continue to prove that they are more interested in showing up President Trump than stepping up for their own residents.
After months of negotiations, Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democrats in the state legislature delivered a bill Sunday as part of the state’s budget that would run counter to the Trump administration’s immigration efforts by making California the first and only state in the nation to pay for the health care of thousands of illegal immigrants.
California’s Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal, would become available to any low-income California resident between the ages of 19 and 25 beginning in January 2020 under the proposed bill, the Sacramento Bee reported. The plan states it would “extend eligibility for full-scope Medi-Cal benefits to individuals of all ages, if otherwise eligible for those benefits, but for their immigration status, and would delete provisions delaying eligibility and enrollment.”
Costing about $98 million per year, the bill which was part of an overall $213 billion budget, will use the “extraordinary” state budget surplus to now cover the health care of thousands living in the state illegally, though it will not include undocumented seniors.
“While it’s not all we sought, it will provide a real tangible difference for people, especially for those around and below poverty and for middle income families who don’t get any help under the federal law,” Anthony Wright, executive director of advocacy group Health Access, said.
According to the Sacramento Bee:
The budget includes a fine on people who don’t buy health insurance known as an individual mandate. The fines were initially implemented as part of the federal Affordable Care Act law known as Obamacare, but Republicans acted in 2017 to roll them back. Newsom and legislative leaders say re-imposing the penalty at the state level will shore up the state’s health insurance marketplace and keep premiums from rising dramatically.
Revenue from the mandate will fund insurance premium subsidies for middle income people. The budget agreement also includes an additional $450 million over three years to fund insurance subsidies after some lawmakers argued mandate revenue alone wouldn’t make health insurance affordable.
Sen. Holly Mitchell, who leads the joint legislative budget committee, praised lawmakers’ efforts of “responsible budgeting” while touting California’s “largest reserves in history.”
“California believes that health is a fundamental right,” the Democrat said.
But some were critical that the Democrats’ plan, which will become available to about 90,000 people, did not do enough for California’s illegal immigrants.
“For California’s immigrant communities, today’s budget deal is bittersweet,” Cynthia Buiza, executive director of the California Immigrant Policy Center, said in a statement. “The exclusion of undocumented elders from the same health care their U.S. citizen neighbors are eligible for means beloved community members will suffer and die from treatable conditions. And the exclusion of many immigrants from the Earned Income Tax Credit will perpetuate the crisis of economic inequality in our state.”
Democratic state Sen. Maria Elena Durazo, who co-authored the bill, argued that all low-income people should have access to the services.
“They work in our hotels, they work picking the fruit and vegetables, they work as landscapers, they work in hospitals,” Durazo told The Wall Street Journal in an interview. “I don’t think they should be treated differently from other Californians.”
According to the Public Policy Institute of California, about half of the state’s illegal immigrants are estimate to have incomes that are low enough qualify them for Medi-Cal coverage.
Meanwhile, the California liberals advocate using the “surplus” funds, taxing legal residents to fund the coverage of illegal immigrants, while ignoring the conditions and challenges facing residents on some of the state’s largest cities.
“One glance at the formerly Golden State is a frightening embarrassment. The latest indictment of liberal leadership is the trash heap of Los Angeles,” Radio host and Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce wrote in an op-ed published by The Washington Times last month. “The state actually has a budget surplus, but as we see, money can’t cure stupid.”
Bruce slammed the state and its Democratic leadership for consistently ignoring the rampant homelessness and growing sanitation problems in cities like Los Angeles. Celebrity doctor Drew Pinsky warned of a deadly epidemic that could strike the city this summer, placing the blame on local politicians.
‘Politicians worse than Nero’! Dr. Drew blasts ‘nightmare’ that California’s become, makes dire prediction https://t.co/2xmNT9utyK
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) May 24, 2019
The growth of the homeless population and untended trash threaten Los Angeles as public health conditions worsen, with Pinsky adding that it is “likely” that the bubonic plague, the 14th-century pandemic that killed millions, already exists in the city.
“This is unbelievable. I can’t believe I live in a city where this is not Third World. This is medieval,” he told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. “Third World countries are insulted if they are accused of being like this. No city on Earth tolerates this. The entire population is at risk.”
Los Angeles launched a half-million dollar pilot program last year to deal with its rampant homeless population, paying homeowners to build shelters in their backyard which could then be occupied by the homeless. A cleanup of one of California’s homeless camps last year along the Santa Ana River in Anaheim uncovered 404 tons of trash, over 13,000 hypodermic needles and more than 5,000 pounds of hazardous human waste.
Newsom was reportedly shocked buy the homeless levels in the state and announced he would launch a task force using $1 billion of taxpayer funds to “find solutions,” something Donald Trump Jr. slammed in a tweet recommending Californians reject the so-called leadership of Democrats.
“And yet most 2020 Democratic candidates for president want you to believe that President Donald Trump is the problem, and the Democratic policies creating the dystopian nightmare in California should be exported throughout the nation,” Bruce wrote in her op-ed. “Yeah, no.”
The latest budget agreement, which would wipe out existing citizenship requirements to receive benefits, must be approved by the full state Legislature where Democrats enjoy a super majority.