The Democrat-controlled, crime-infested, cash-strapped state of California will begin the new year by giving illegal aliens taxpayer-funded “free” healthcare.
California will offer “free” healthcare, under the state’s socialist government-run health insurance program, to all qualifying foreign nationals who illegally crossed the border.
The state currently faces a $68 billion deficit in the next fiscal year.
Nevertheless, it has been steadily expanding access to its Medi-Cal health insurance program for low-income residents.
In 2015, the scheme was expanded to allow undocumented children to qualify for the taxpayer-funded program.
It was then expanded further under Democrat Gov. Gavin Newsom to cover undocumented adults between the ages of 19-25 and those over 50.
On January 1, California will become the first state to offer free healthcare to all qualifying individuals — regardless of immigration status or age.
In May, Democrats in the California Legislature celebrated the budget deal struck by Newsom and state lawmakers.
The deal led to the latest Medi-Cal expansion, which will see some 700,000 undocumented immigrants, ages 26-49, obtain full coverage under the program.
California Democrats have been celebrating the move.
“This historic investment speaks to California’s commitment to health care as a human right,” state Sen. María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) said at the time.
“This is a game-changer,” said Assemblyman Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles).
“It’s one of the most important pieces of legislation that’s gonna go through this house because the ability to give health care means the ability to live life without pain.”
However, some healthcare experts worry that expanding the program is unwise given unprecedented state revenue shortfalls.
The state is already suffering from healthcare shortages.
“The expansion was a bad idea when the state’s coffers were flush,” Sally Pipes, a healthcare policy expert and the president and CEO of the Pacific Research Institute, a California-based think tank, told The New York Post.
“Now that California is struggling to make ends meet, using taxpayer money to cover non-citizens is simply irresponsible.
“Many on Medi-Cal are already having a hard time finding doctors to treat them because of low reimbursement rates these doctors receive from the government,” Pipes added.
“If those on Medi-Cal can find a doctor, they are facing very long waits for care.”
Simon Hankinson, a border security and immigration expert with the Heritage Foundation, said in a social media post that he expects the federal government to eventually bail out the program.
“No surprise [California], despite budget deficit, will give illegal immigrants subsidized health care,” Hankinson wrote on X.
“The question is how and when they’ll get the federal taxpayer to bail them out. NY, IL, and MA want to know.”
No surprise CA, despite budget deficit, will give illegal immigrants subsidized health care. The question is how and when they’ll get the federal taxpayer to bail them out. NY, IL, and MA want to know. https://t.co/omefOpt2f5 via @foreigndesknews
— Simon Hankinson (@WatchfulWaiter1) December 28, 2023
The California Senate Republican Caucus has also criticized the expansion of the health plan.
“Medi-Cal is already strained by serving 14.6 million Californians – more than a third of the state’s population,” the caucus wrote in response to Newsom’s budget proposal last year.
“Adding 764,000 more individuals to the system will certainly exacerbate current provider access problems.”
The latest Medi-Cal expansion will come at a cost of $2.6 billion per year.