On June 10, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law allowing undocumented immigrants to buy health insurance through the state’s exchange, which facilitates the purchase of qualified health plans under the U.S. Affordable Care Act.
Undocumented immigrants will be able to obtain a waiver from the United States Department of Health and Human Services to receive health care coverage, making California the first state to offer this kind of coverage, Reuters reports.
“Today we ask the federal government to remove another barrier to health insurance access that discriminates against some of our residents on the basis of their documentation status,” Senator Ricardo Lara, the bill’s author, said in a statement.
The Los Angeles Times reported that if the waiver is approved, as many as 390,000 immigrants would be eligible to obtain healthcare insurance.
Opponents of the bill argue that California taxpayers would bear the cost of the financial strain to the state’s healthcare system.
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