Bill Would Allow Illegal Immigrants Access to Obamacare in CA

covered caState Democrats forged ahead with legislation designed to fill out Covered California’s enrollment ranks with unlawful and undocumented immigrants.

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Following the state Senate, the Assembly has “passed a measure that would remove a critical barrier to Covered California and allow all Californians to access the state health insurance marketplace, regardless of immigration status,” as State of Reform noted. The legislation, introduced as Senate Bill 10 by state Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, “would authorize the state to apply for a federal waiver that would allow undocumented immigrants to buy unsubsidized health coverage through Covered California.”

“Currently, undocumented immigrants are barred from using the state marketplace under the Affordable Care Act even when using their own money and instead must go directly to a broker or health plan to purchase health insurance. During its April board meeting, a Covered California staff report gave the green light to pursue this waiver from the federal government, and is now awaiting direction from the Legislature and governor.”

Republican rollover

Despite massive Republican resistance to the implementation of Obamacare, with a “repeal and replace” approach adopted by elected officials at the state and federal level, California’s GOP quietly folded in the face of the expansion plan. SB10 sailed through both houses of the Legislature with bipartisan support, as the San Jose Mercury News recalled.

Prior to the vote, key Republicans tried to keep a low profile. Leaders “in both legislative chambers declined to comment on whether the bill has enough support to pass,” according to CALmatters. “But a Republican strategist said the California GOP might be more likely to support the measure than its national counterpart, to avoid ceding the state’s Latino vote to the Democrats.”

The ins and outs of the complex Affordable Care Act have lent some circumstantial evidence to the notion that, despite President Obama’s claims to the contrary, at least some enrollment by the undocumented was envisioned or prepared for. An ACA provision “called the ‘innovation waiver’ allows states like California to change portions of the law as long as the state makes coverage available to more people and as long as the federal government doesn’t get stuck footing the bill,” reported Fox News. And though the impact of that population on Covered California has not been fully estimated, it would be significant: Lara suggested nearly 400,000 unlawful immigrants “would be eligible to receive health insurance,” according to the channel.

Federal hurdles

But the political landscape has become uncertain enough at the federal level to create an extra layer of difficulty — and urgency — for Lara and his allies. “The proposal needs federal approval, an involved bureaucratic process that could be thwarted under a new presidency. So California advocates are acting swiftly to get their application to President Obama before he leaves office, and to do so must win support from at least a few California Republican lawmakers,” Capital Public Radio noted. “Lara put an urgency clause on the bill, which requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass the Legislature. At least one Republican state senator has indicated his support” — Andy Vidak, R-Hanford — “a cherry grower in the Central Valley’s Kings County, which has a 53 percent Latino population.”

Even with adequate Republican support for urgency, however, SB10 could be stymied inside the Beltway. Public comment review requirements left some analysts skeptical that the new rules could be approved before a change in administrations, CALmatters reported. “And even if the proposal works its way through that maze and is reviewed by the Obama administration, he said, it may not be approved because of current federal guidelines. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has strict rules for modifying the Affordable Care Act marketplaces. They might have been put in place to avoid creating a precedent that opens the door to future changes the current administration would deem” problematic.

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  1. I am so damn tired of paying the bill for every free loading SOB in this State!! This is not sustainable!! We can’t evey fix our roads that we pay for and now they want to give health care to illegals?? What part of illegal do they not understand?? Can we as U.S. Citizens get this from Mexico or any other Nation? No But HELL NO!! Let’s take care of US first!! The damn Democrats will give it all away for voted. If they want to help them so much? Why don’t they use the money they earn? Quit using the taxpayer’s money for this B.S.

  2. THE CAPTIVE says

    It is all about the vote not RIGHT VS WRONG – AND oh yes there will be more leaving this state of insanity as well. Then think there are more ISLAMISTS here bent on terrorism -oh yes don’t deny this TRUTH. Is SF the next target for the liars of Islam?

    • Maybe the idiots in politics are on to something. Bring in Jihadists, Let the Illegals come, they fight each other over the land that Americans built up and bam, problem solved they wipe each other out !!!

      • As well as wiping out our land, our buildings, our homes, etc. I’d rather we fight the Crusades revival on THEIR turf, not ours !!

  3. Items like this prove one thing to me, that to be a politician you do not need intelligence just greed.

  4. Illegal is illegal. I can’t go to another country and sign up for their healthcare, so why should illegals, of any nation, be allowed to do it here? Now, if we had reciprocity, then we’re talking. But why should we subsidize illegals of any state?

    I know it makes sense to certain people, and it may allow the ill to go to the doctor thus helping stop/eliminate the spread of disease, but on my dime?

    Here’s an idea….Go home, come back after you have your paperwork done, and then apply for healthcare when you are legal…but not before.

    Sorry, I just do not see logic or benefit to the state or nation in this.

    Oh, wait, is this called buying votes?

  5. askeptic says

    Just open eligibility to everyone whether they reside here or not. After all, to do less would be Racist.

  6. A side angle on this issue is that “latinos” will flock to the dems. I’m not so sure about that. The latinos for the most part have lower paying jobs than most of us, at least to start. With more illegals flooding the country, guess who is being impacted first? The Latinos. It is really in their best interest to keep OUT illegals, and NOT help them.

  7. Randy Townsend says

    R’s have quit, without question. Make plans to exit CA, or stop complaining about the way things are. Dims own it, and will do as they please. Single party rule will be the situation for decades to come.

    • Jose Curveball says

      Yep…have done the latter, now in plans to do the former in 2017…last bagholder please turn out the lights….my home state is done for.
      It’s a numbers game…logical people are FAR outnumbered by the “feelers” in this formerly great state….

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