Valley Public Radio - Live Audio

California Extends Health Care To Undocumented Children

Jun 16, 2015


Beginning next spring 170,000 undocumented kids living in California will be able to sign up for Medi-Cal. Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders allocated an initial $40 million for the program in this year’s budget.

Democratic Senator Ricardo Lara has been pushing for California to offer health care to immigrants living illegally in the state. 

Lara: “This is the least we can do to a community that continues to contribute not only to our social welfare but to our economy. Give them an opportunity to allow their kids to see a doctor.”  

Lara still has a bill pending in the Legislature that seeks a federal waiver to allow undocumented immigrants to buy healthcare on the state exchange. It would also allow some adults living in California illegally to enroll in Medi-Cal if the state says there’s money available. 

The budget also includes $226 million  to cover a one-time restoration in hours for In-Home Supportive Service workers.

Governor Jerry Brown is also calling a special legislative session to address Medi-Cal funding.