New Chapter in California’s Illegal Immigrants ‘Nothing is ever enough’ Saga: SB-10

Published on June 6th, 2016

For California’s illegal immigrants and the Sacramento legislators who cater to them, nothing is ever enough.

Only a month after the California legislature voted to extend Medi-Cal coverage to aliens’ minor children, it passed SB-10 that will allow unlawful residents to buy private health insurance on the state’s Affordable Care Act exchange. In 2009, President Obama, while addressing a joint session of Congress, insisted that aliens would be excluded from participation in Obamacare. Watch Obama make his promise here. Banning illegal immigrants from Obamacare was a specific part of the congressional compromise that led to the bill’s passage.

Broken promise on Obamacare and illegal immigrants.

But as happens so often when it comes to granting entitlements to illegal immigrants, advocates found a loophole in Obamacare that will let aliens enroll in the exchange as long as they use their own money to participate. The Section 1332 State Innovation Waiver allows states to adjust the law to make coverage available to more people, including illegal immigrants, assuming the federal government doesn’t bear the expense.

Regarding SB-10 and the waiver, several familiar patterns commonly found in illegal immigrant entitlements for California’s aliens are visible. First, state Sen. Richard Lara, SB-10’s author, is selling the bill as a positive for Californians, but especially for families with mixed immigration status. That is, aliens’ citizen children automatically qualify, but now their illegal immigrant parents can also be included, a fair deal in Lara’s eyes.

Second, SB-10 is the latest in a growing number of seemingly endless alien benefits: the Dream Act, the Trust Act, driver’s licenses, Medi-Cal for minor children and professional licensing privileges that include accountants as well as a host of other occupations.

Third, and most important, the waiver represents a get-a-foot-in-the door strategy that’s been so successful for illegal immigrants’ advocates. See the Dream Act as an example. First introduced in Texas in 2001, 17 states now offer the Dream Act to alien students. Even though SB-10 will offer them the opportunity, most illegal immigrants will not be able to buy insurance out of pocket, so federal subsidies could be added after the fact.

Illegal immigrants already have federally funded health care. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, signed 30 years ago, reimburses hospitals for emergency and maternity care regardless of immigration status. Government-funded community health clinics also provide illegal immigrants some medical care.

SB-10 is on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk pending his signature. Without his veto, SB-10 will become law. Then, however, the waiver requires federal approval from Health and Human Services and the Treasury Department within the next six to seven months.

Contact Brown here to tell him to veto SB-10 which will reduce access to medical care for California’s legal residents, since illegal immigrants will increase the demand for a limited supply of services. Telephone calls are the most effective way to deliver the message.

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