New York legislators are pushing a new law to have the cash-strapped state spend more than $500 million to provide virtually free, taxpayer-financed health care to more than 400,000 adult illegal immigrants.
Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan)
The just-introduced legislation by state Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan) would require Albany to cough up at least $532 million to allow undocumented adult residents to enroll in the state’s “Essential” or “Basic” public health-insurance plan.
Illegal immigrants would be eligible if their household incomes are under 200 percent of the federal poverty line. Residents here illegally would be expected to pay “small premium amounts” to help pay for their coverage, but taxpayers would cover most of the costs.
Both lawmakers head their health committees in the Senate and Assembly, which means the measure will get a serious airing and could pass the Democrat-run state Legislature. Federal law bars illegal immigrants from qualifying for nationally funded health insurance programs for the needy, such as Medicaid.
The Gottfried-Rivera measure piggybacks a similar $100 million program touted by Mayor de Blasio that guarantees illegal immigrants in the city get basic medical care through doctors at city-run hospitals.
“The Essential Plan expansion bill will provide support for the city’s program but also enable enrollees to go to other participating providers as well,” Gottfried said on Sunday.
But Gov. Cuomo just amended his executive budget to trim health-care spending through Medicaid by $550 million because of a drop in state revenues.
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