Offering free healthcare to illegal immigrants could cost California BILLIONS PER YEAR
By Zoey Sky // Apr 04, 2024

Recent estimates by state and federal lawmakers have revealed that a law in California providing free healthcare for all illegal immigrants living in California could cost taxpayers as much as $3 billion to $6 billion per year.

While free healthcare for illegal immigrants isn't a new concept, the most recent law expands access to include illegals of all ages. Earlier state legislation allowed minors to receive coverage, with subsequent measures including adults up to 25 years old and people who are 50 and older.

It is estimated that at least 700,000 illegals will have access to the new benefits, with estimates varying based on how many people enroll and the number and type of medical services covered.

According to a population study by the nonpartisan group Federation for American Immigration Reform, more than 3.2 million illegal aliens now reside in California, along with their more than 1.1 million children who were born in the United States and are citizens.

Together, illegal immigrants and their children represent 11.1 percent of the state’s population. The study also revealed that costs to taxpayers for benefits offered to illegal immigrants for some age groups in 2023 amounted to at least $31 billion.

Ira Mehlman, spokesman for the Washington-based immigration reform group, said that it is "unconscionable to be spending this kind of money," particularly when California is already struggling with a $68 billion deficit. This calculation comes from a December 2023 report issued by California's Legislative Analyst's Office. Gov. Gavin Newsom claims the budget deficit is closer to $38 billion. (Related: Illegal immigrants in New York City are leaving their shelters to go door-to-door begging for money and food.)

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Mehlman has suggested that the deficit is partly due to a change in demographics. He added that the replacement of businesses, educated residents and middle- and upper-class residents with illegal immigrants is potentially affecting California's finances.

He warned that the state "incentivizing more people to come that will rely on the government" while causing high-income earners to leave is not a "sustainable model."

Critics, including a group of senators behind a new federal bill titled the Protect Medicaid Act, which would prevent U.S. states from providing Medicaid – known as Medi-Cal in California – to noncitizens, have warned that California is encouraging illegal immigration by offering these benefits.

Sen. Cassidy: Medicaid for migrants is a magnet for more illegal immigration

In a statement announcing the bill last Jan. 11, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) explained that "Medicaid for migrants is a magnet for more illegal immigration." He also said that the public policy can cause issues for California citizens who depend on Medicaid, along with middle-class families paying taxes and state debt.

Cassidy, who is a lawmaker with a background as a physician, explained that Americans should be prioritized, with resources reserved for people who are most in need of assistance. He explained that trying to provide healthcare to everyone "for free is not possible or feasible."

"Compassion that cannot be sustained is not compassion," he added.

Cassidy's newly introduced legislation is supported by several Republican colleagues who said that their constituents don't want to see their tax dollars pay for such healthcare plans.

In the statement, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) explained that Tennesseans and the American people do not want to see their tax dollars used to pay for Medicaid for illegal immigrants. She added that this is unfair to hard-working citizens, and that it also incentivizes more illegal immigration while delaying the care of millions of Americans.

Bill co-sponsor Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) advised that California has long taken advantage of federal funding to pay for its progressive policies.

In the same statement, Hyde-Smith said California and other liberal states have "gamed the system for years to provide Medicaid to illegal immigrants," a tactic which she says is against the law and forces Mississippi taxpayers to carry some of the financial burden.

Hyde-Smith also warned that President Joe Biden's border crisis and liberal policies are "making the situation worse and more costly."

Critics have also voiced their concerns that adding hundreds of thousands of new patients to the state’s healthcare system will continue to stretch an already struggling industry.

According to KFF, an independent healthcare research group, estimates from November 2023 suggest that California already has to add at least 1,500 primary care providers to meet the level of demand that existed before the new law even took effect.

Other state lawmakers have argued against the proposal as early as 2022, citing similar concerns about provider shortages. They also warned that it is important to first resolve current healthcare system inadequacies before further jeopardizing patient access by giving illegal aliens free healthcare.

Assemblyman Bill Essayli (R-Corona), who is trying to reverse the new law, introduced Assembly Bill 1783 on Jan. 3. If approved, the measure would remove all funding for illegal immigrant healthcare from the state budget.

Essayli explained that tax dollars must be used to benefit residents, adding that others must follow the path his family and others took to observe immigration laws when entering the country.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Essayli said that law-abiding immigrants like his parents "are part of the great fabric of our state and nation." He added that Americans must first take care of their citizens "before trying to care for the citizens of other nations."

Visit for more stories about illegals in California and the rest of the United States.

Watch this clip from "The Dana Show" as host Dana Loesch talks about New York's decision to slash spending as it allots more money to deal with the migrant crisis.

This video is from the NewsClips channel on

More related stories:

MOBS of Chinese illegal immigrants SWARM California border.

America sees 550% increase in illegal immigrants coming in from Canada.

NYC Mayor Eric Adams warns illegal immigrants will DESTROY the city.

Sources include: [PDF]

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