Today, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom released his 2019-2020 proposed budget. The proposal seeks to improve California’s health care system and includes a historic investment of $260 million towards comprehensive Medi-Cal for low-income young adults excluded from care because of their immigration status. In response, the Health4All Coalition, comprised of dozens of organizations across California working to extend access to health care coverage to all Californians regardless of immigration status, issued the following statement:
“Governor Newsom’s commitment to extend health care access for young adults regardless of immigration status is a historic step that reaffirms the principle that no one should suffer or die from a treatable condition, no matter what they look like, how old they are, or where they are born. Undocumented adults are the single largest group of Californians who remain uninsured and face an unjust exclusion based on immigration status that leads to wider health disparities. From toothaches to unexpected ailments, the right to preventative and life-saving medical care is essential to ensuring that every Californian is able to contribute to their community, thrive in our economy, and age with dignity. Ensuring quality healthcare for every Californian, including immigrant community members whom the federal government continues to unjustly shut out of care, is an urgent matter and essential to reaching the goal of health justice for all.”
Members of the Steering Committee for the Health4All Coalition, which include impacted experts, expressed the following:
"Heightened xenophobic and anti-immigrant attacks at the federal level have led to the deterioration of our immigrant communities’ physical and mental well-being. This is why we champion Health4All. With lives at risk, California must continue to boldly lead the country in pro-immigrant measures by expanding health care coverage to our undocumented friends, families, and neighbors who call California home. Let us make sure that all Californians can thrive and live healthy lives!" -Leslie Toy, Program Manager, Health Access Project at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles
"ASPIRE welcomes Governor Newsom's intention to make Medi-Cal accessible to all undocumented young adults. However, our goal hasn't changed: all Californians, regardless of immigration status or age, should have timely access to high quality healthcare services. The well-being of our communities can't wait." - Wei Lee, ASPIRE Program Coordinator at Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus
“The further expansion of Medi-Cal for undocumented young adults is a community’s win and a reflection of the ongoing efforts to make Health4All a priority in Sacramento. We will continue to uplift the need for undocumented adults and elders in California to have access to take care of their physical and mental health -- undocumented elders deserve to age with dignity.” - Dianey Murillo, Southern Regional Coordinator, California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance
"We live in 1 out of the 11 counties in California that does not offer any type of health access to undocumented adults besides in emergencies. We welcome the commitment of Governor Gavin Newsom to cover undocumented young adults in this legislative year but we hope access can be expanded to include all undocumented folks. All Californians deserve to be healthy." - Luis Suarez from the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice.
“We applaud Governor Newsom’s initial investment in health care coverage for young adults, regardless of income and immigration status. Latinos are disproportionately impacted by lack of access to health care services, thus negatively impacting the State’s health and economy. When we all have access to #Health4All, California achieves the promise of equity and justice.” — Dr. Jeffrey Reynoso, Executive Director, Latino Coalition for a Healthy California
“Every Californian has the right to be healthy, no matter where they were born or how much money their families have. Governor Newsom’s proposal to extend Medi-Cal eligibility for young adults is a critical step in ensuring that everyone who makes California their home has the opportunity to live up to their full potential. We are all better off when everyone in our community is able to meet their basic human right to accessible healthcare, and we look forward to working with Governor Newsom and our newly elected leaders to build a stronger and healthier California for all of us.” – Gabrielle Lessard, Senior Policy Attorney, National Immigration Law Center
“While the federal government continues to unjustly exclude undocumented adults and exacerbate health disparities, Governor Newsom’s commitment is a powerful step in the right direction. Undocumented young adults, as well as their parents and grandparents, contribute to the social and economic fabric of our state. We applaud the Governor’s aim to extend health access for undocumented young adults and look forward to building on this step with the legislature to solidify equity and inclusion for all.” - Cynthia Buiza, Executive Director, California Immigrant Policy Center
“Young adults should not find themselves losing health coverage as a result of their 19th birthday, regardless of their immigration status. This budget builds on the successful effort in California and other states to cover all children, recognizing our health system is stronger when everyone is included, getting primary and preventive care. While we will continue to advocate for health coverage to all those still uninsured - either due to their immigration or financial status - we are encouraged by these key steps toward universal coverage in this budget.” - Anthony Wright, Executive Director, Health Access California.
“Western Center is excited that Governor Newsom is wasting no time in the quest to bring California closer to universal coverage by making California the first state in the nation to expand Medi-Cal to undocumented young adults. We applaud the Governor in this bold first step on his first day in office.” - Linda Nguy, Western Center on Law & Poverty
“Fourteen years ago, our movement for health equity took on the fight to win health for all children in California. The seeds we sowed, rooted in the belief that quality health should be a universal human right, are bearing fruit. We thank Governor Newsom for continuing the struggle with this important step forward. And we call upon our Legislative leaders to complete the promise of health access for all by expanding access not only to young adults, but to ALL adults in California, because we belong to each other, because we all win when everyone is safe and healthy.” - Joseph Tomás McKellar, Co Director of PICO California
"We are happy with Governor Newsom's initial plan to cover California's undocumented young adults. California is one of the largest economies in the world. We have the resources available to cover all undocumented Californians. Health care is a human right!" - Maribel Nunez, California Partnership