UnidosUS Lauds Budget Bill that Includes Medi-Cal Coverage Expansion for Undocumented Youth

SACRAMENTO, CA—UnidosUS (formerly NCLR), the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, today applauded the signing of the California 2019-20 budget package by Governor Gavin Newsom which includes significant investments in both education and health care which will have a broad impact on the daily lives of Latino families across the state.

One of the key highlights in the budget is the expansion of Medi-Cal for income eligible undocumented young adults, ages 19-25. An estimated 138,000 young adults will now have access to comprehensive health coverage and no longer be disqualified because of their immigration status.

UnidosUS and its Affiliates in the state had long advocated for expanding comprehensive health coverage to the undocumented population, including those over 25 who are still left vulnerable today given current funding proposal excludes them from coverage.

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California is home to an estimated 1.8 million undocumented adults, a majority of whom are Latino, and by limiting the expansion to only young adults the state is still leaving an important portion of the adult population without an affordable means of accessing regular health care. These are adults who’ve been working and contributing approximately $3 billion in state and local taxes annually.

“We thank California’s leaders for investing in the health of these young adults who are a part of the state’s future. Despite this significant step forward, we urge the state’s leadership to not let up and expand coverage to all income eligible adults. Latinos, including undocumented migrants, have been the backbone of California’s workforce. Their hard work is intricately woven into the economic success of most industries. Expanding health coverage is not only the morally right thing to do, but far overdue for a population that directly contributes to the lives of every person throughout the state,” said Steven Lopez, Director, Health Policy Project.