Will California Open Obamacare to Illegal Immigrants?

If Governor Jerry Brown signs a new bill passed by the state legislature, California could become the first state in the nation to allow illegal immigrants to buy health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Sponsored by Democrat State Senator Ricardo Lara, the bill would open up the state’s Covered California exchange to residents who are not American citizens.

“We are talking about our friends,” said Lara last summer. “We are talking about our neighbors and our families who are denied basic health care in the richest state of this union.”

In a statement to US News & World Report, the Federation for American Immigration Reform said, “This is the first step in another misrepresentation of the Affordable Care Act. It was sold to the American people on the fact that you wouldn’t have to subsidize health care for illegal immigrants.”

Wait, does that mean President Obama lied to the American public? Is that what the Federation is saying? No, surely not. If Obama was caught in such a lie, the media would be on him like white on rice. There would be national outrage. He’d have to come out and explain himself in a somber primetime address from the Oval Office.


The official Obamacare website clearly states: “Undocumented immigrants aren’t eligible to buy Marketplace health coverage, or for premium tax credit and other savings on Marketplace plans.”

Now, even if Brown signs the bill and even if Obama grants the state a waiver, it doesn’t necessarily mean that illegal immigrants will qualify for subsidies. And if California can finagle a way to offer insurance to illegals without relying on the federal government, a loophole called the “innovation waiver” may allow them to go through with it.

Once that dam is broken, there’s no telling where this goes. Before long, other states with significant “undocumented” populations could follow suit. Then it’s only a matter of time before a challenge winds up in front of the Supreme Court, leaving the entire issue up to the political makeup of that esteemed panel of judges. It’s not a stretch to think we could be only a couple of years away from seeing Obamacare opened up to illegal immigrants on a national basis.

One more shining gold star for the Obama legacy. One more small step toward utter American insolvency.

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