JANUARY 04, 2007
The governor of the nation’s most populous state wants taxpayers to finance a $400 million plan that features health insurance for illegal immigrants in addition to a costly state program for the impoverished that already helps them.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will propose a law to insure everyone under the age of 18, including illegal immigrants, and he will ask residents of the Golden State to pick up the monumental tab.
If the state legislature enacts the governor’s proposed law, it would automatically insure about 763,000 minors, many of them already eligible for California’s generous Medi-Cal program for the poor as well as all illegal immigrants. A handful of states—Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Vermont – insure all minors but none have California’s huge illegal immigrant population so the cost does not compare.
Illegal immigrants already cost California taxpayers about a billion dollars annually in medical care since it is mandatory under federal law to provide “emergency” care as well as hospital service for the delivery of “anchor babies” for all illegal immigrants. State officials say that more than 100,000 undocumented women deliver babies in California annually at a cost of more than $400 million.
At least one state lawmaker, Assembly Republican leader Mike Villines of Clovis, is fighting the governor’s plan because he believes Californians do not want to reward illegal behavior. One state political blog writes that Schwarzenegger wants the taxpayers of California to pay for a strong magnet to bring even more illegal aliens to the state, in exchange for guaranteed free health care.
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