In a recent display of fiscal prioritization that has sparked debate, California has made a notable decision to allocate a substantial sum of taxpayer money, estimated at $2.6 billion, to provide health care for individuals residing in the state illegally. This decision has garnered criticism from various quarters, including prominent figures such as rapper and actor 50 Cent.
50 Cent thinks it will cost California taxpayers $2.6 billion after the state gives free health care to immigrants living there illegally. pic.twitter.com/XmPtrsgsxW
— XXL Magazine (@XXL) January 3, 2024
Expressing his bewilderment and concern over this policy, 50 Cent took to Instagram to question the rationale behind this significant expenditure of taxpayer funds, especially when other groups, such as veterans, continue to face challenges in accessing health insurance. His post included an image of California Governor Gavin Newsom, highlighting the state’s pioneering role in offering health insurance to all illegal migrants.
This move by California expands the Medi-Cal health insurance program to approximately 700,000 individuals without legal status in the United States, specifically targeting those between the ages of 26 and 49.
The context of this policy is set against a backdrop of increasing encounters at the southern border, with over 2 million illegal migrant crossings recorded in fiscal year 2023, according to Customs and Border Protection data.
This policy trajectory began in 2015 under then-Governor Jerry Brown, who allowed illegal migrant children to qualify for Medi-Cal. Governor Newsom further extended this coverage in 2019 to include young adults aged 19 to 25. The recent expansion to cover a wider age range is a continuation of California’s commitment to providing health care to all residents, irrespective of their legal status, as stated by Newsom’s office.
This development has ignited a discussion about the state’s priorities and the use of taxpayer funds, particularly in light of other pressing needs and fiscal responsibilities.