I’m not really sure where to start with this, so let’s just start with the basics. From the San Jose Mercury News:
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.
Since the Obama Administration has no problem taking unilateral action on illegal immigration, I don’t see why Obama would have a problem granting a waiver. You mean it’s probably illegal to do that? Yeah, like that would stop him.
I think the only question is whether the Obama Administration would make illegal immigrants eligible for premium subsidies. That might be problematic, since that would require illegals to file tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service. Then again, the IRS might not even notice since it seems preoccupied with other things these days.
The most troubling aspect of the bill is the provision that lets the kids of illegal immigrants on to Medicaid (Medi-Cal in the Golden State). Wonder what message that sends south of the border? Something like, “Cross the border into California and get free health care for your kids”?
Finally, you know it is crazy time in California when Governor Jerry Brown looks like the reasonable one: If the bill “clears the Legislature, the measure goes to Brown, who could veto it.”