California debates health care for undocumented immigrants

California debates health care for undocumented immigrantsA Californian Senator has proposed a plan for a bill that would give health care coverage for the estimated three million undocumented immigrants that are currently living in the Golden State, the largest amount of undocumented immigrants in any state in the entire country.

Democratic Senator Richard Lara represents Southeast Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the Health for All Act that he has proposed would extend to immigrants’ health care services, which because of their undocumented status, they are currently unable to gain health care coverage.  Undocumented immigrants in California are only given pregnancy and emergency services under the state’s Department of Health Care services, called Medi-Cal.  Should the bill be passed, an additional health care exchange would be created by the government for immigrants along the same lines as the Affordable Care Act.  The state of California would fund the proposed health care exchange.

Lara says that the bill would result in a big improvement to the health of California’s immigrant community, and also save the state money.  He wants to make certain that everybody in California is given equal access to health care in order to improve the health of the whole state.

Lara also wants to cut down overcrowding in emergency rooms and overall health care costs.  “Excluding people from access to care hurts the overall health of our communities, and does not reflect California values,” he declared in a press release.  California has already granted undocumented immigrants the chance to earn law licenses, driver’s licenses and in-state tuition at community colleges and public universities.