Brown Considering Medi-Cal for Undocumented Immigrants
Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) administration is considering expanding Medi-Cal to undocumented immigrants in California who now are protected from deportation under President Obama's recent executive action on immigration, according to an aide, the Los Angeles Times' "PolitiCal" reports.
Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program (Willon, "PolitiCal," Los Angeles Times, 12/3)
Details of Executive Action
In November, Obama announced a plan to allow up to five million undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for at least five years and who have no record of felony offenses or serious misdemeanors to apply for a program to avoid deportation.
Under federal law, such undocumented immigrants still are not eligible for health benefits under the Affordable Care Act.
However, some advocates have predicted that California law will extend Medi-Cal benefits to immigrants who are affected by the executive action (California Healthline, 12/1). According to "PolitiCal," extending the program could benefit more than one million immigrants in the state.
Details of Announcement
Speaking at an event hosted by the Public Policy Institute of California, Nancy McFadden, a top policy aide to Brown, confirmed that the governor's administration is considering expanding the program to undocumented immigrants affected by the executive action.
McFadden noted that the potential cost of expanding the program will be a factor in the decision.
She said, "We're still evaluating, but the president's recent action on undocumented immigrants could perhaps open a door for more coverage of more people under Medi-Cal," adding, "We're looking at that. That, of course, is going to cost money" ("PolitiCal," Los Angeles Times, 12/3).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.