Newsom Includes Health Coverage for All Illegal Immigrants in New Budget Proposal

California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks during an appearance ahead of facing a Republican-led recall election in in San Leandro, Calif., September 8, 2021. (Fred Greaves/Reuters)

California Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled a budget proposal on Monday that would include expanding the state’s Medi-Cal health coverage to all low-income illegal immigrants in the state. 

The Golden State already began offering coverage to low-income illegal immigrants 26 and under in 2019 and added coverage for those 55 and older last year. Now, the Democratic governor has proposed covering the remainder beginning no sooner than January 1, 2024. 

Newsom did not say whether he would look to phase in the additional health coverage or how he planned to pay for it, the Associated Press reported.

The move would make California the first state to provide universal health care access for all residents regardless of legal status and could cost some $2.4 billion per year, according to one legislative analysis

The expansion is included in Newsom’s $286 billion state budget proposal, which makes use of a projected $45.7 billion surplus.

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