New York moves to provide free healthcare to illegal immigrants

A New York Senate bill, which was referred to the Senate Financial Committee on January 8, seeks to make low-income illegal immigrants under the age of 65 eligible for the New York State Health Innovation Plan.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA

New York is seeking to expand its state-run healthcare options for illegal immigrants.

The state began offering qualified illegal immigrants over the age of 65 Medicaid on January 1, 2024, a change from the Emergency Medicaid program offered to illegal immigrants that only covers treatment in the event of a medical emergency.

A bulletin from the New York State of Health revealed the new, "more comprehensive benefit package" for illegal immigrants in this age bracket, which now includes preventative and primary care benefits such as routine doctor visits, lab testing, recommended screenings, wellness services, and prescription drugs.

Illegal immigrants must make up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Line to qualify.

A New York Senate bill, which was referred to the Senate Financial Committee on January 8, seeks to make low-income illegal immigrants under the age of 65 eligible for the New York State Health Innovation Plan.

According to the Gotham Gazette, the Senate approved the bill in June, and the bill would expand healthcare access to more than 240,000 illegal immigrants in the state.

An article published in the New York Post warns New York residents that they should be worried about California's decision to fund healthcare for illegal immigrants, which has been revealed to be 100 percent state taxpayer-funded.

With President Biden's illegal immigration crisis finding its way to New York City, writer Susan Shelley warns that "New York may be on the same path."

On January 1, California began offering free healthcare to all who qualify, regardless of their immigration status, despite the state having a $68 billion budget deficit in the next fiscal year.

The budget passed in May 2023 will see close to 700,000 illegal immigrants between 26-49 years of age receive full medical coverage under the plan, which is expected to cost the state an additional $3.1 billion.

Anyone who meets the eligibility requirements will be able to enroll in Medi-Cal, which will provide residents with financial coverage for any necessary healthcare services.

Shelley explained that a budget "trailer" bill, SB 184, that passed in the California Senate in 2022, prohibits states from receiving federal funding if they were to supply illegal aliens with medical assistance.

The text of the bill reads: “The federal Medicaid program prohibits payment to a state for medical assistance furnished to an alien who is not lawfully admitted for permanent residence or otherwise permanently residing in the United States under color of law.”

This means that California residents will be forced to entirely foot the cost of healthcare for illegal immigrants who shouldn't even be in the US in the first place.

Newsom told reporters, according to the Post, in reference to his refusal to reconsider the expansion of Medi-Cal to undocumented immigrants that healthcare is "a fundamental right."

Currently, medical appointments frequently require lengthy travel and wait times for the 14 million Californians who are already enrolled in Medi-Cal.

A notoriously low reimbursement rate of approximately 70 percent for identical services compared to Medicare has resulted in Medi-Cal penalizing providers. Physicians often restrict the number of Medi-Cal patients they agree to take, if they do so at all.

A historic amount of illegal immigrants are arriving in New York City, more than 162,000 since spring 2022 and a projected 10,000 entering each month.

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