Governor Newsom Proposes Universal Healthcare for State Residents, Undocumented Immigrants

Kamari Esquerra

Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that he wants California to be the first state to offer universal healthcare. 

“Here in the largest state in our union, here in California, we are positioned with this budget to be able to deliver on what we’ve been promoting- universal healthcare for all regardless of preexisting conditions, regardless of the ability to pay, regardless of your immigration status,” said Newsom. 

Following the unveiling of his 2022-2023 state budget proposal, Governor Newsom announced his proposed healthcare investments, including a nation-leading plan to provide access to universal healthcare for all, regardless of immigration status, and new investments to lower costs and improve the lives of california’s most vulnerable residents. The governor, as well as, local organizations say this move is long overdue. 

“It took a lot of advocacy of over a decade to actually continue to elevate the realities of our community as they haven’t had healthcare,” said Luz Gallegos, Executive Director of TODEC, a legal center for immigrants and their families. “They’ve been working and supporting and contributing to the economy of our state but haven’t received anything in return.”

We spoke to the Republican Headquarters in La Quinta, who said the new proposal is “absolutely ridiculous”, but refused to do an on-camera interview.

The governor is proposing providing a full expansion of Medi-Cal to all eligible Californians, including more than 700,000 undocumented immigrants. If approved, the plan would raise taxes on businesses and individuals who earn at least $149,509 per year. The proposed $2.2 billion program to aid undocumented immigrants in the country would not take effect until January 2024 and will include all low-income Californians, regardless of immigration status.

“This is a great opportunity that we will have here to make sure every immigrant that lives in the Coachella Valley and lives in CA that does not have any access to healthcare has the opportunity to protect themselves,” said Gallegos. 

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