A California Senate Health Committee voted 7-0 Wednesday to expand health care coverage for all Californians, regardless of their immigration status.
The bill by Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, would expand Medi-Cal eligibility for immigrants here illegally who are income-eligible.
It is one of 10 bills that aims to expand the rights of people who are living illegally in the country and offer them additional protections. The proposals include bills that would create an Office of New Americans in the Governor’s Office and ban businesses from discriminating against residents based on their immigration status, citizenship or language.
Lara’s health care bill comes with an approximate $1 billion price tag. The proposed law has been praised by immigrant rights groups and criticized by conservative organizations.
The bill will be heard next by the Senate Appropriations Committee.
“We have to embrace this opportunity to be decisive and make a historic, sensible, and humane change in health care and immigration policy in California,” Lara said during the committee hearing.