Newsom proposes universal health care for illegal immigrants

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed universal healthcare for all low-income residents of his state, including illegal immigrants, the governor announced during the unveiling of his 2022-23 state budget on Monday.

During a press conference Monday, Newsom unveiled his $213 billion California Blueprint plan, which will be backed by a $45.7 billion surplus. Among the proposals in the plan, which includes creating a new statewide gun buyback program in the name of public safety, is a measure to expand health care coverage to all low-income Californians, regardless of immigration status.

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference after receiving a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine booster shot at Asian Health Services in Oakland, California, Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021.

“Here’s the big one: California is poised to be, if this proposal is supported, the first state in the country to achieve universal access to health coverage,” Newsom said during the conference. “So, what does that mean? It means full-scope Medi-Cal, including long-term care, IHSS [In-Home Supportive Services], and behavioral health to all low-income Californians, regardless of immigration status.”

The measure, if approved by state lawmakers, will allow illegal immigrants to obtain state-funded abortions under the state’s Medi-Cal system.

Newsom estimated that the plan would be fully implemented by January 2024.

“With major new investments to tackle the greatest threats to our state’s future, the California Blueprint lights the path forward to continue the historic progress we’ve made on our short-term and long-term challenges, including responding to the evolving pandemic, fighting the climate crisis, taking on persistent inequality and homelessness, keeping our streets safe and more,” the governor said in a press release. “As California’s robust recovery continues, we’re doubling down on our work to ensure all our communities can thrive.”

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