Immigrants in California More Likely To Be Uninsured, Study Finds
Immigrants and their children in California are twice as likely to be uninsured as other state residents, and nearly half of all immigrants in the state receive Medi-Cal benefits, according to a study released Monday by the Center for Immigration Studies, the Los Angeles Daily News reports. In addition, the study found almost half of all California households receiving food stamps, subsidized housing or other public assistance are headed by an immigrant.
According to the study, immigrants in California and other states are more likely to receive public assistance than U.S.-born citizens. Nationwide, about 47% of all immigrants are either uninsured or receive health care coverage through Medicaid, the study finds.
However, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the average U.S.-born California resident receives about $1,212 annually from public assistance programs, compared with $474 annually for non-U.S. citizens.
Rep. Howard Berman (D-Van Nuys) said he plans to attach an amendment to create a guest-worker program to federal legislation this week. Berman said he is concerned about the number of immigrants using public assistance programs, including health care services. He said, "There's no doubt illegal immigration has an impact on health services. It's disruptive. It costs money" (Friedman, Los Angeles Daily News, 12/13).
The report is available online.