Healthcare Subsidies for Illegal Aliens Could Cost California Up to $2 Billion Annually

moneyCalifornia lawmakers are using a loophole in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in an attempt to offer healthcare to illegal aliens. While the ACA expressly bans those living in the country illegally from applying for healthcare through the federal marketplace, it allows states to apply for an “innovation waiver” to expand coverage so long as they pay for any additional costs. The measure, which passed the legislature last week, awaits the governor’s signature before being sent to the amnesty-friendly Obama administration for final approval of the waiver request.

The bill’s sponsors estimate that approximately 390,000 of California’s more than 2.5 million illegal aliens would immediately become eligible to apply for healthcare through the state-run ACA marketplace.

What is still questionable is whether these immigrants will receive the same subsidies that citizens are given. Considering illegal alien households earn 28 percent less than American families on average, it is doubtful that many can afford full-price insurance. Given the California Legislature’s track record, it is likely that subsequent legislation would grant state assistance to illegal aliens who purchase insurance through the state-run exchange.

The average ACA subsidy doled out by the federal government amounts to approximately $3,300, which would make the price tag to cover illegal aliens approximately $1.3 billion annually. Because the law, known as SB 10, expressly prohibits illegal aliens from receiving federal subsidies to pay for healthcare under the state exchange, someone (California taxpayers, probably) will need to pick up the tab to make up the difference. Some estimates regarding the subsidy California provides to residents, especially for lower-income families, average closer to $5,200. This could raise the taxpayer burden to more than $2 billion annually.

Already bearing an oppressive debt load, Democratic governor Jerry Brown issued a press release last month admitting that the state is unable to cover its current commitments, much less pay off any of the $430 billion already owed to creditors. Covering the insurance bill for illegal aliens would further increase the high-tax state’s liabilities. The governor’s office already projects a $4 billion budget deficit by 2019.

In addition to creating a substantial amount of new debt, offering healthcare benefits to illegal aliens – subsidized or unsubsidized – only encourages more illegal immigration. Either way the taxpayer burden will become heavier in the future as projections are altered to incorporate a rising number of new beneficiaries.

For a state with a faltering economy, voluntarily aggravating the illegal alien problem is the exact opposite of sound policy. Undocumented immigrants already cost Californians $22 billion annually and it is projected that an additional $1.2 billion will be necessary to hire more than 17,000 bilingual teachers by 2018 to keep up with the influx of students with limited English proficiency. If these unsustainable costs remain unchecked, California will face an unprecedented economic disaster.

avatar About Spencer Raley

Spencer joined FAIR in 2015. He conducts research, and writes content for FAIR’s publications and website. He brings previous experience in state politics, gubernatorial and district campaigns, and D.C. political non-profits. Spencer holds a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas at Austin.

Comments

  1. avatar Barbara Griffith says:

    If people in California were smart they would sell their houses if they own one grab all of the money for it they can and leave the state behind with its sky high taxes and house prices. Leave the state in the mess it created all on its own coupled with never ending greed that the taxpayers are being stuck with.

    • avatar C. Bryant says:

      Good comment and the truth ,or stay for the cold wars to divide it in to two or three states . What you had [ Ca. ]
      in the 1950′s and early 1960′s is lost.

  2. avatar Dean Bales says:

    “Progressives” merely invert the traditional order: gays and muslims are good, those who object are bad. etc. etc. etc. What is happening with immigration/ public policy is inverting the phenomenon our conquering, civilizing forebears practiced called Manifest Destiny. Now all they fought and worked for is given away like the Panama Canal. The courageous anglo farmers who took on and defeated the Mexican army and turned the land into an economic powerhouse have been replaced by Santa Anna’s 5th column in our time.

  3. avatar Leland says:

    They are already one of the highest taxed, if not highest depending on the calculation, states in the country. I remember when they balanced their budget last year and a lot of liberals were crowing about it like it was some kind of achievement. But they did it by taxing everything not nailed down. At some point you can’t squeeze any more from the taxpayers. Of course, we’re talking California where reality is not a requirement.

    Another state walking off the financial cliff is Illinois. And they’re just like California. They encourage illegals by making them eligible for all sorts of taxpayer paid programs and can’t figure out why their finances are imploding.

    • avatar LeConte Davis says:

      10 June 2016

      As much as I enjoyed my Berkeley years, I have to agree with this article: California is becoming a basket case, wasting taxpayer dollars on freebies for illegal immigrants while making native US citizen taxpayers pay for all of this, sometimes without even being able to qualify. It’s becoming a bit of a liability having been born in the US, and this administration’s coddling of illegal immigrants sure hasn’t helped matters! Are there any “middle-of-the-road” Democrats anywhere, anymore, or just the continual “tax and spend” super liberal variety. Although, the Trump rhetoric is sometimes disconcerting, this country is in serious trouble when all people dream of is getting on welfare and disability: everyone wants a government handout, and noone either wants to work or has a decent job …

      • avatar Leland says:

        Trump drives me crazy but the choice is between him and Hillary, and a vote for her is a vote for groups like La Raza and Black Lives Matter in charge of policy. She panders to both of them.

    • avatar Ray Styles says:

      Commiefornia has sold their soul to the illegal scumbags who show what they re made of by crowding in front of their own people who wait in the legal immigration line. Good riddance Fairyland.

  4. avatar CHARLIE says:

    I have worked hard all my life and hardly get anything back that I paid into our Government! Now the gov. has the audacity to give all this money to the illegals who are here for no good! I say round them all up and send their asses back to where they came from! Oh ‘ and by the way you can send that big eared SOB in the white house along with them!

  5. avatar giley1 says:

    Total disgust with what is happening in our country and state. Obama knew excatly what he had intended when he and his cronies forced Obamacare down our throats. Sooner or later there will be a tax revolt. Governor Brown’s policies are just an extension of what is happening in DC. Our Second Amendment is now on survival mode as a barrage of new anti gun bills surge in the liberal Sacramento dome. Anyone really wonder why Mr. Trump pushes to build the border wall?

  6. avatar Bill Murphy says:

    You can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip but then this is California. Maybe they will be allowed to print there own currency since the Democratic Party has tried stealing and lying to gain all the other give-a-ways for the sake of a vote.

  7. avatar HDMania says:

    I would guess anyone with a brain will start voting out all liberal Demorats in Calif..especially Brownie..gotta go

  8. avatar DCB says:

    We can take care of these people who broke the law to get into this country but have a hard time taking care of the veterans who gave us the freedoms we have.

  9. avatar Tired of BS says:

    The only way to pay for this is if Obama lets states begin printing their own money…….

  10. avatar Richard OKeeffe says:

    Why does the government get to do things any average citizen would get in big trouble for. IE spend money they don’t have.

  11. Thank God LA Shacks Go for a Million Dollars

    That should raise lots of property taxes for the California migrant invasion….LOL