California Governor Gavin Newsom and Democrats in state legislature are taking strides to become the first state in America to offer illegal immigrants full healthcare benefits. The deal, which is expected to be approved this week, would allow immigrants ages 18-25 to be eligible for California’s Medicaid program (Medi-cal), as well as state and federal health insurance programs for disabled and low-income residents.
The plan is set to go into effect January 2020 and would benefit nearly 90,000 low-income illegal immigrants.
Melody Klingenfuss with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights in LA spoke with KFI News' Monica Rix stating that it's a trick situation getting immigrants into a doctors office. According to Klingenfuss, most immigrants try and avoid the doctor to avoid deportation.
"it's up to the point where it's actually paralyzing folks from taking a step and taking care of their own selves."
The deal is apart of a $213 billion budget and must be approved by the full state legislature. If lawmakers do not enact a budget by June 15th, their salaries will be forfeited. 98 million dollars a year is expected to be allocated to the immigrant healthcare and will be paid in part by taxing citizens who do not have health insurance.
"We're really just talking about basic human rights," Melody tells KFI News.
Lawmakers are also considering expanding the plan to immigrants 65 and older.
The legislature is expected to approve the deal this week.