Hello health justice advocates,
Firstly, we would like to wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day! In our shared passion for #Health4All, we know that health equity and justice cannot be achieved until we have equal health access for our parents, including parents who are seniors or who are undocumented.
For this reason, this month, we are highlighting new health policy developments, centered around extending health access to our first guardians, our parents.
Up first is Assembly Bill 4 (AB 4). This bill, authored by State Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula, will extend full-scope Medi-Cal benefits to undocumented adults age 19 and older, who otherwise already qualify for Medi-Cal (except for immigration status). This bill was introduced in December 2020, and will now advance to a third reading and vote after being passed by the Assembly's Health Committee on 5/20/21. Click here for more details, and to track this bill's progress through the Assembly.
Similarly, Senate Bill 56, authored by state Senator Maria Elena Durazo, extends full-scope Medi-Cal benefits to undocumented individuals 25 years of age or younger, who are already eligible for limited scope Medi-Cal. Click here to track SB 56 progress through the California State Senate.
In other exciting news, Governor Gavin Newsom included funding to extend Medi-Cal coverage to seniors above age 65, regardless of immigration status, in a budget proposal this month. Although the change is slated to go into effect May 2022, if passed in the Legislature, this is a huge development for health equity! It would make California the second state in the U.S. to extend coverage to undocumented seniors, after Illinois. For more information, you can follow this story here.