Public Citizen Applauds California Governor Jerry Brown for Signing a Bill That Expands Health Care Coverage for Undocumented Adults

June 13, 2016

Public Citizen Applauds California Governor Jerry Brown for Signing a Bill That Expands Health Care Coverage for Undocumented Adults

Statement of Vijay Das, Health Care Policy Advocate, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division

Note: On Friday, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law to expand health care access for undocumented adults living in California.

Last week history was made in California. Health care access just got a little bit easier for nearly 400,000 undocumented adults. Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 10, sponsored by state senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), into law. The state must now apply for a federal waiver to open up Covered California (where Californians get health insurance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) plans to all, regardless of immigration status. This is a critical first step to expand health care access. It’s imperative that the federal government approve this waiver.

Next, California must move forward and expand its state Medicaid or Medi-Cal programs to all adults regardless of immigration status. Even with the passage and approval of this law, far too many undocumented immigrants in California will not be able to afford the high out-of-pocket costs and monthly premiums associated with Covered California plans. We must continue fighting to ensure that comprehensive health coverage becomes a right for all.

That said, this law is a major victory for the Health for All Campaign in California. Thank you, Governor Brown.

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