Covering CA’s Undocumented

Dear Legislators,

92 percent of Californians have insurance coverage. The eight percent who don’t are primarily undocumented residents. CA has sufficient ongoing resources to cover them.

Concerns about covering the undocumented have centered on the risk that a new program, estimated to cost $3 billion per year, would add to the state’s structural deficit. But the program doesn’t have to add to the structural deficit. Funding can come from redirecting >$4 billion/yr being spent on unnecessary insurance subsidies for 300,000 retired public employees and their dependents. Right now you provide those subsidies even if the retiree/dependent is eligible for Medicare or ACA coverage or has a new job or has left California, and the subsidies are up to 30x greater than other western states provide. You have the right to amend the terms of that program.

Right now you are providing excess coverage to less than one percent of politically well-connected Californians and leaving billions of federal dollars on the table while eight percent of our most vulnerable residents go without coverage. You can fix that.