California’s Generosity to Illegals Is Crippling the State

Posted: Jul 09, 2015 12:01 AM

California is once again leading the way in financial irresponsibility by subsidizing health care for illegal alien children, further burdening the state’s taxpayers.

The LA Times reports that the subsidized healthcare is a part of a $115.4 billion budget and would be available to 170,000 children at the age of 18 or younger. The cost is expected to be $132 million when fully implemented. The program will begin in May.

The Los Angeles Daily News features proponents of subsidized healthcare to illegal children saying that the state can afford to help low-income illegal children because California has billions of dollars in surplus.

Even if this were true, why does the burden have to be on us taxpayers? They are the ones who came here illegally. Yes, the children are here through no fault of their own but the sad reality is that children are often victims of bad circumstance through no fault of their own. For instance, if their parents are arrested for tax embezzlement, that’s not the children’s fault but we don’t reward the unlawful behavior of tax embezzlement as a result.

But the dirty little secret is that California is not as financially sound as the left would have you believe. In fact, the financial system is in dire straits, and a sizable portion is due to illegal immigration.

First, a little background: California would not be in this position if not for rogue, judicial activist judges. The people of California voted for Proposition 187 in 1994 by a vote of 59% to 41%, which prohibited illegal aliens from access to welfare programs, including public education and health care. This was back when Californians had common sense.

So naturally, as the left is wont to do when voter initiatives and legislation don’t go their way, they sued, hoping that a handful of judges in black robes would overrule the will of the people. And that’s what happened.

Judge Mariana Pfaelzer ruled that Prop 187 violated the 1996 welfare reform bill, when in fact, the law prohibited illegals from having access to welfare. The court bending the law, while deplorable, was not unexpected. In 1982, a federal court ruled in Plyler v. Doe that under the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, it would be unconstitutional for illegals to be denied access to welfare programs.

The ruling features a distorted view of the 14th Amendment. The Equal Protection Clause states that it is unconstitutional to “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Illegal aliens are not within the Constitution’s jurisdiction- after all, they are here unlawfully. But unfortunately, the judges ignored the law and set precedent, which wrongly matters more to the court than the actual text and intent of the Constitution.

Because the precedent was set, Judge Pfaelzer contorted herself to find a way to keep the precedent alive in regards to Prop 187, and the repercussions of that decision are felt today with the passage of subsidized healthcare for illegals that will further cripple the state financially.

There is no billion-dollar surplus in California. While the state is getting more in revenue than originally estimated, the state in actuality faces $227 billion in long-term debt. Providing welfare and social services to the 3 million illegals and their children in California cost the state’s taxpayers $25 billion a year, taking up 23% of last year’s budget. That number will only increase with the subsidized healthcare to children who are here illegally.

The effects on Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid, will be disastrous. Medi-Cal is already facing doctor shortages and patients are having less access to care due to the large increase in enrollees under Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, as 1 in 3 of state residents are a part of the program at a cost of $18 billion a year while Medi-Cal has low reimbursement rates. With 170,000 more members in the system, this will only worsen the problem.

California already offers generous benefits to illegals, as in addition to welfare and social services they can apply for driver’s licenses and practice law. And now with “free” healthcare to illegal children and a wide-open border, why wouldn’t illegals flock to California and take advantage of the system?

With a burdensome long-term debt outlook, the only outcome that can come out of this is bankruptcy.

This column was originally posted on the East Bay Young Republicans website.