Border crossing between San Diego, Calif., and Tijuana, Mexico.
Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program, will expand coverage to at least 170,000 children, mostly Hispanic, who are in the state, and thus nation, illegally.
The Sacramento Bee reported that “They’ll gain access to not just emergency coverage but also dental care, checkups, mental health treatment and other vital services following an unprecedented Medi-Cal expansion that provides full coverage to all low-income children in the state, regardless of immigration status.”
The expansion will probably mean lots more patients at the state’s Federal Qualified Health Centers and hospital emergency rooms.
The Bee reported that the expansion “is exclusively state-funded and is expected to cost the state Department of Health Care Services about $132 million annually. A 2015 study from the Public Policy Institute of California concluded that about half of the state’s undocumented immigrants have incomes low enough to qualify for Medi-Cal.”
Few disinterested observers believe that the $132 million figure is plausible. It will almost certainly cost much more.