No Medi-Cal for immigrants

Gov. Brown’s budget proposal does not include health care for undocumented immigrants

Despite previous speculation that Gov. Jerry Brown (pictured) might extend health care coverage to undocumented immigrants in California, his recently released fiscal year 2015-16 budget proposal does not set aside funding for that purpose.

In November, President Obama announced his plan to allow up to 5 million undocumented immigrants who have lived in the U.S. for more than five years and have no serious criminal record to apply to avoid deportation. But under federal law, those individuals are not eligible for health benefits through the Affordable Care Act, according to California Healthline. Brown’s administration subsequently considered expanding health coverage to immigrants affected by the executive action—potentially covering up to 1 million people.

When asked about providing health coverage to those residents, Brown responded: “There’s not a lot of money left in the budget … it’s very tight.” Some groups, such as the Western Center on Law and Poverty, were disappointed with the decision, while state Republican lawmakers—and some Democrats—hailed Brown’s proposal as fiscally responsible.