California budget boosts health care for older immigrants

California will soon pay the health care bills for low-income people 50 and older who are living in the country illegally, part of an expansion of Medicaid that aims to inch the nation’s most populous state toward Democrats’ goal of making sure everyone has health insurance.

The new coverage will eventually cost taxpayers about $1.3 billion per year, money that’s part of the new state operating budget that Gov. Gavin Newsom and state legislative leaders unveiled Friday night. The budget is scheduled for a vote in the state Legislature on Monday, with Newsom likely signing it into law before the state’s fiscal year begins Thursday.

California has spent a lot of money trying to make sure everyone has health insurance. The state spends millions every year helping people pay their monthly insurance premiums, the only state offering subsidies to families of four that earn up to $157,200 per year. California also taxes people who refuse to buy health insurance.

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