New California law to provide subsidized healthcare for undocumented immigrants

Under the new law SB 104 California will offer government subsidized health benefits for undocumented immigrants under the age of 26.

Previously only undocumented immigrant children could apply. It's part of new funding for MediCal.

Gov. Gavin Newsom says there will be "An additional $450 a month in subsidies reducing premiums by 25%. No state in America does that."

Sarah Dar from the California Immigrant Policy Center says this will make a healthier community.

"It's a population that by and large is not getting regular care, not regularly visiting the doctor. This is going to change all of that - regular doctor visits, preventative care, checkups."

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To qualify, an applicant must make less than 138% of the federal poverty level, which is $17,200 for an individual and $35,500 for a family of four.

But not everyone likes the idea.

"The state has taken numerous steps over the years to accommodate people who are in the country illegally," says Ira Mehlman from the Federation for American Immigration Reform.

He says the program will cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

"In Sacramento they continue to make choices that will further discourage the middle-class from remaining in California and further encourage more people to come and settle illegally," says Mehlman.
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