Thursday, June 11, 2015

Healthcare Spending Growth Disproportionately Extracts from California's Budget. State Senate Votes to Add Illegal Immigrants to Tab

As healthcare draws more and more of California's resources, leaving less for other governmental functions, the state Senate has voted to add illegal immigrants to to the list of taxpayer-funded health coverage recipients. 

Here is a chart of California budget proportions posted by Austin Frakt at the Incidental Economist:

And a story by Tracy Seipel from last week's Contra Costa Times:
California Senate approves health care for many illegal immigrants 
SACRAMENTO -- A first-in-the-nation bill aimed at expanding health care for illegal immigrants sailed through the Senate on Tuesday even as some lawmakers acknowledged that thousands of legal residents are having to struggle to access health care through the state's Medi-Cal program. 
In a 28-11 vote, a newly pared-down version of Senate Bill 4 by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, would let undocumented Californians buy health insurance with their own money through the state's Covered California exchange if the state is given a waiver by the federal government. It would also allow anyone age 18 and under to enroll in Medi-Cal regardless of immigration status -- and let undocumented immigrants age 19 and up enroll in Medi-Cal if there's money provided in the state budget. ... 
Last week, SB 4 was scaled down from a "health care for all" bill that would have allowed all undocumented immigrants to enroll in Medi-Cal. But that bill would have cost taxpayers from $175 million to $740 million annually -- something Gov. Jerry Brown said was just too expensive. 
The exact cost of the amended SB 4 won't be known until an upcoming fiscal analysis is released shortly....