Editorial: Health Insurance For All Children

The law will benefit around 170,000 immigrants younger than 18 years.
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Editorial: Health Insurance For All Children
Children have access to health services in California, regardless of immigration status.

The governor of California stamped his signature this week to turn SB4, sponsored by State Senator Ricardo Lara, into law. The bill extends MediCal to undocumented minors.

This is, once again, an important step in our state’s development to make the most basic and urgent needs of all population groups protected by the government, so together they can contribute to the general welfare.

As a community leader said to La Opinión last month, the best thing for the state is to have the most amount of people healthy. That’s especially true when it comes to children, who are the most vulnerable in our society.

The law will benefit around 170,000 immigrants younger than 18 years.

The budget to cover for the health insurance for undocumented kids was already approved last June, with the support of Senate President Kevin de León. Its implementation in May 2016 will cost $40 million, and $175 million the next year.

In that regard, SB4 joins another law helping immigrant kids that Brown signed in August, AB560 by Assemblyman Gómez from East Los Angeles, which makes the kids’ “immigration status irrelevant when they are sued seeking financial compensation.”

Those are common-sense laws motivated by a yearning to fulfill the government’s purpose, which is to benefit its local constituents regardless of their ethnic origin, and all the while the migratory issue gets addressed at the national stage.

Likewise, Lara told La Opinión recently that he plans to push for a bill that would extend MediCal also to low-income undocumented adults.

Again, California is offering a contrast with the rhetoric of hostility and discrimination prevailing in the news, which stems from the Republican presidential candidates’ efforts to attract voters in the national primaries.

Here, those measures are leading us to a future of cooperation and mutual advancement, while respecting a population that, with its work and tax contributions, has become part of the state. Outside, the plans to deport 11 million people, build a border wall, end the constitutional birthright citizenship and prosecute Dreamers are examples of a panicked leadership that lacks a vision for the future.