California pushes to expand immigrant health care

Nov 30, 2014 10:05 AM by News Staff

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - President Barack Obama's executive order to spare some immigrants from deportation has galvanized Democrats, immigration groups and health care advocates in California to push for expanding health coverage.

Advocates say the president's executive order enables hundreds of thousands of low-income immigrants in California to apply for Medi-Cal, California's version of Medicaid.

The California Department of Health Care Services, however, has yet to receive formal guidance.

The president's action excludes immigrants who came to the country illegally from qualifying for federal health benefits. But California has its own policy of providing health coverage with state money to low-income immigrants.

Sen. Ricardo Lara, a Democratic lawmaker from Bell Gardens, is reviving a bill that would provide health coverage to all Californians, regardless of immigration status. Republicans have criticized the costs.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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