SB 4, a bill that would provide healthcare coverage for millions of California’s illegal immigrants, is advancing steadily toward Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. If Brown signs SB 4, California taxpayers will have to subsidize the cost. The question is: How many millions of dollars will it take?
|Romo pitches hard for SB 4.|
In a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing held May 4, Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) presented two possible outcomes. Lara, the bill’s author, said that if President Obama’s executive amnesty action goes forward, 900,000 aliens would qualify, with the cost outcome uncertain.
But if Obama’s amnesty remains stalled, SB 4 could increase Medi-Cal spending up to $740 million. Lara based his projections on 50 to 60 percent of the state’s eligible 1.5 million unlawful immigrants enrolling, totals which may be understated.
CAPS estimates that California’s illegal alien population is at least 4 million. Moreover, Lara did not explain why so few would enroll since advocacy groups and other supporters would rally behind SB 4, and promote it statewide.
One such advocate is California-born Sergio Romo, a multimillionaire San Francisco Giants’ pitcher. Romo has endorsed SB 4 in a California Endowment-sponsored televised commercial which aired throughout the Bay Area and nationally on You Tube. Watch it here.
But a CAPS press release brought to light facts Romo ignored that could mean higher healthcare costs for California’s most vulnerable citizens. According to the California Healthcare Foundation, about 42 primary care doctors participate in Medi-Cal for every 100,000 enrollees. The ratio should be 60 to 80 doctors per 100,000. Adding millions more immigrants to the Medi-Cal program will create a greater imbalance in the doctor-to-patient ratio, and make it even more difficult for poor Californians to get good healthcare.
The hearing ended with SB 4 put into the committee’s suspense file where, by the end of May, it will either be tabled or sent to the full Senate for a vote.
California residents: Please go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to make sure the bill dies in committee. Reinforce Brown’s apprehension about SB 4’s cost. Tell your state senators that you object to subsidizing illegal immigration and SB 4.