Yet their compassion is rather suspect. Newsom rejected a plan proposed by the state Senate to cover illegals 65 and older, because it would have been unaffordable.
The California Immigrant Policy Center wasn’t pleased. “The exclusion of undocumented elders from the same health care their U.S. citizen neighbors are eligible for means beloved community members will suffer and die from treatable conditions,” the advocacy group declared in a statement.
By contrast, Wright remained optimistic, tweeting, “We will continue to pursue steps towards the Governor’s & Legislature’s shared goal of getting to universal coverage in the next few years.”
Really? In 2017, the state’s Senate Appropriations Committee analysis concluded it would cost $400 billion — as in nearly twice the state’s currently proposed budget — to provide single-payer coverage. The state’s share of that cost was pegged at approximately $200 billion, based on the assumption it would retain the existing $200 billion in local, state, and federal funding it was receiving. And like this latest gambit, it would have included coverage of illegal aliens.
Not everyone is on board with this latest effort. As the Associated Press noted, the Republicans on the legislative committee “voted against the proposal, arguing it was not fair to give health benefits to people who are in the country illegally while taxing people who are here legally for not purchasing health insurance.”
Yet in a de facto one-party state like California, Republicans are virtually irrelevant.
Washington, DC? One suspects the Trump administration, already trying to stem the flood illegals pouring into this nation, would hardly be willing to fully fund a plan that further incentivizes them to do so.
Regardless, it seems progressives who run California are incapable of understanding the implications of such incentivization. Columnist Monica Showalter is not. “As if that $98 million is really going to cover [the plan’s costs] as migrants from Central America and beyond surge into the U.S. in record numbers, and five million from Latin America alone [are] planning to enter the U.S. with or without papers,” she writes. “California, remember, was quite convinced $39 billion would cover the cost of its famed bullet train up and down the state in 2008. The price tag now, with just a tiny portion of it out in the Central Valley to be built? $98 billion.”
California legislators also believe most people won’t see the political gamesmanship in play here. Columnist Sammy Caiola gives one a hint. “In a pie chart of California’s undocumented population, seniors make up only a sliver,” he explains.