Medi-Cal is a health coverage program that provides free or low-cost health care to California residents who meet the eligibility requirements. The program uses the federal poverty level limits for the current year to determine eligibility. Despite opposition from Republicans and conservative groups, California has recently expanded health care access to immigrants living in the country illegally. This is a long-awaited victory for health and immigration activists, who have been advocating for this change for over a decade.
Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, expressed concern that offering free health care will make California a magnet for those who are not legally authorized to enter the country. However, some states, including California, have already used their own taxes to cover a portion of the health care expenses of some low-income immigrants. Health care advocates point out that this coverage gap is especially significant for low-income immigrants living in the country illegally since they have no other options.