The measure signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom gives taxpayer-funded health care to those who broke U.S. immigration law and use false documents, asking nothing in return from the foreign nationals or their governments.
As the whole world knows by now, California is the first U.S. state to provide taxpayer-funded health coverage to those illegally present in the United States, ages 19 to 25. The health care is being provided through Medi-Cal, which raises issues of concern to California taxpayers.
As Katy Grimes reported, Medi-Cal is “California’s health insurance program for the poor, and disabled.” Just as the Department of Motor Vehicles was not designed to register voters, Medi-Cal was not intended to provide taxpayer-funded health care to those illegally present in the United States.
California voters never approved a ballot measure specifically authorizing Medi-Cal to provide taxpayer-funded medical care for illegals. The deployment of Medi-Cal for that purpose is the result of a bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. On the other hand, California voters did approve a ballot measure making those illegally present in the United States ineligible for public benefits.
The 1994 Proposition 187 would save California taxpayers $200 million, according to the legislative analyst, and 58.93 of California voters favored the measure. Federal judge Mariana Pfaelzer, a 1980 appointee of President Jimmy Carter, struck down the measure on the grounds that the authority to regulate immigration belongs exclusively to the federal government.
The administration of Gov. Pete Wilson countered that the state was trying to preserve benefits for legal residents. Wilson’s successor Gray Davis dropped the appeal, and the only sections of Proposition 187 that remained were penalties for making or using false documents.
As it happens, California prosecutes fraud in obtaining medical benefits from Medi-Cal under a number of statues. State laws focus on false declarations, false claims and false information. Medi-Cal fraud was major part of welfare fraud in San Diego County in the late 1980s and early 1990s. County investigators such as David Sossaman found themselves threatened for uncovering the scams.
Those illegally present in the United States use false documents as a matter of course. The measure signed by Gov. Newsom effectively counters the laws against false documents, but no court has attempted to modify or overturn the measure in the style of Mariana Pfaelzer with the voter-approved Proposition 187. If that established immigration policy, so does the bill signed by the governor. Proposition 187 would have saved taxpayers $200 million while the bill approved by Gov. Newsom spends $98 million on the illegal aliens.
Last year, Mexicans abroad, mainly in the United States, sent back a record $33.48 billion to Mexico. That massive figure is only possible through massive inputs from U.S. taxpayers. Lobbyists who act on behalf of foreign governments are required to register as agents of those governments.
Nothing along those lines has surfaced in the granting of taxpayer-funded health benefits to foreign nationals illegally present in the United States. It remains unclear what the state will bill the governments of Mexico, El Salvador, Honduras and El Salvador for the health care American taxpayers provide for their nationals. A ballpark figure would be zero.
As this writer can attest, as a legal immigrant to the United States, all legal immigrants must certify that they will not become a public charge. Legal immigrants do not certify that they will provide benefits for those illegally present in the United States.
The measure signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom gives taxpayer-funded health care to those who broke U.S. immigration law and use false documents, asking nothing in return from the foreign nationals or their governments. If legal immigrants and legitimate citizens consider that a bad deal, it would be hard to blame them.