California taxpayers will soon be footing the healthcare bill for older illegal immigrants as part of a recently-approved state budget.
The budget deal will guarantee coverage for low-income, undocumented, immigrants older than 50. The plan was initiated by Democrats, who’ve said they want to ensure everyone has healthcare insurance.
The coverage, set to take effect in 2022, will cost taxpayers $1.3 billion per year.
California State Sen. Jim Nielsen said he felt providing healthcare to those living in the country illegally was one of the most egregious parts of the bill, which Newsom was expected to sign by July 1, the beginning of the new fiscal year.
“Individuals who are illegally in California now will receive [health] benefits equal to a citizen of California. All they had to do is just simply be here, and whether they were of legal status or not makes no difference,” Nielsen told The Epoch Times.
“I would argue that is at the expense of Californians who are legally here and have been here their whole life. Also, it inflates the budget considerably, and it becomes a part of the base budget, meaning the ongoing budget into the future. Every year, we have to build into the base expenditure, the extension of the people served.”
The funding comes on top of the millions California already spends each year to try and help ensure residents have insurance coverage. Despite this, nearly 3.2 million Californians will remain uninsured next year, making up 9.5 percent of the state, according to the University of California–Berkeley Labor Center.
Nearly 1.3 million illegal immigrants under 65 are among the uninsured population.
When asked about the implementation, a spokesperson from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office told The Epoch Times that the governor believes all California residents deserve to be healthy.