Trump blasts California health care for illegal immigrants

Undocumented young adults in California will become eligible for Medi-Cal — the state’s health care insurance for low-income families — beginning Jan. 1 as a new law takes effect. By Bryant-Jon Anteola

President Donald Trump warned Tuesday that California is among the states that would “bankrupt our nation by providing free taxpayer-funded healthcare to millions of illegal aliens.”

But if his State of the Union address left viewers with the impression that all undocumented immigrants are eligible for health care benefits in California, that’s not true.

California last year agreed to let undocumented adults under age 26 enroll in Medi-Cal, the state-federal health insurance program for low-income Californians. Undocumented children were already eligible.

The legislation, which took effect Jan. 1, was groundbreaking in this country. But that was as far as it went.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed expanding the coverage to undocumented seniors in his budget proposal this year. That proposal is open to debate in the Legislature and is not expected to be complete until June.

In his speech, Trump painted national efforts to provide health care for undocumented immigrants as frightening.

“These proposals would raid the Medicare benefits our seniors depend on, while acting as a powerful lure for illegal immigration,” he said. Medicare, which is federally funded, is available mostly to seniors.

“This is what is happening in California and other States – their systems are totally out of control, costing taxpayers vast and unaffordable amounts of money,” he said.

The Medi-Cal change is estimated to cost the state $98 million in the upcoming fiscal year.

*story by Sacramento Bee