California is poised to become the first state to offer full health benefits to some undocumented adults living in the country, upholding its sworn duty to undermine the Trump administration whenever possible.
According to the Associated Press, the state legislature is expected to approve a deal this week that would allow low-income undocumented immigrants between the ages of 19 and 25 to be eligible for the state’s Medicaid program. Additionally, the agreement will make California the first state to offer aid along with monthly insurance premiums—a family of four earning more than $150,000 would be eligible to receive around $100 per month.
To finance the deal, which is anticipated to cover around 90,000 people at a cost $98 million per year, the state will tax those who don’t have health insurance—formerly a tenet of the Affordable Care Act until it was nixed by Republicans in 2017.
In 2018, State Sen. Ricardo Lara proposed a bill that would offer health coverage to all undocumented adults living in the state, a plan that successfully won support among some lawmakers. Lara, the son of undocumented Mexican immigrants who grew up without health coverage, argued that California is already paying for health care for the undocumented through hospital emergency rooms. But Governor Gavin Newsom, who proposed the plan currently pending passage, said he opposed it on the grounds that it would cost $3.4 billion.
The agreement must be approved by the full state Legislature, which it has until June 15 to do.