Monday, August 8, 2022

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The annual Kids Count report highlights the well-being of America's children, Pennsylvania groups call for reproductive rights, and Minnesota's electric vehicle infrastructure is on verge of a growth spurt.

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Democrats seal the deal on the Inflation Reduction Act after a weekend session, New York City's Mayor condemns the Texas governor's immigrant busing initiative, and Elon Musk calls for a debate on Twitter bots.

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People in five rural Kentucky counties are fighting their way back after catastrophic flooding, efforts to preserve Oklahoma's historic buildings in small communities are running up against funding challenges, and more factory-built manufactured homes could help solve the nation's housing shortage.

California Takes Big Step Toward Universal Health Care

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Thursday, June 30, 2022   

California is poised to become the first state in the nation to give health care to all income-eligible residents, regardless of their immigration status.

The Legislature is set to pass the final budget bills this week, which will be signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom shortly thereafter.

Cynthia Buiza, executive director of the California Immigrant Policy Center, said it is the fulfillment of an almost decadelong push by the Health4All campaign.

"This is very timely, but also long overdue," Buiza asserted. "Because for many, many years, many of our immigrant workers who have contributed tremendously to what makes California, California, have gone on without this very important safety net."

The budget deal represents a huge step toward universal health coverage and is expected to benefit about 700,000 people, starting in 2024. Opponents cite the cost: The budget includes $625 million to cover the first six months of 2024, and then allocates $2.1 billion per year.

Beatriz Hernandez, Central Valley organizer for the California Immigrant Policy Center, said it will make a huge difference in people's quality of life.

"This means that they will finally be able to get the health care that they need to care for the chronic illnesses that they've been suffering for many years," Hernandez pointed out. "And also be able to get the checkups that they need."

The deal marks the final push to expand Medi-Cal to all low-income Californians. In 2015, the state expanded Medi-Cal to include undocumented children. In 2020 the program grew to include young adults, up to 26 years old. And this year the program began to accept undocumented adults, age 50 and older.


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