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Health for All Legislation Passes Senate Floor with Bipartisan Support

Health for All Legislation Passes Senate Floor with Bipartisan Support

The California State Senate began its floor session today passing SB 4, the Health for All Act authored by Senator Ricardo Lara, on a bipartisan 28-11 vote. The vote marked a great step toward achieving access to health care for all Californians, regardless of immigration status.

In a press release issued shortly after the vote, Senator Lara commended his colleagues for giving members of one of the state’s most vulnerable populations a better chance to live healthy lives:

“Today’s vote is a transformational and decisive step forward on the path to achieving health for all. Over the past year I’ve worked to draft a bill that is realistic, balanced and fiscally prudent, while arriving at our goal of expanding access to health care for some of our most vulnerable communities. That’s what we’ve achieved with SB4 – allow undocumented Californians to purchase health insurance through a waiver, cover all children and establish a capped enrollment program for adults.”

The amended bill has three key features:

  • Allows all kids 19 and under to enroll in Medi-Cal, regardless of immigration status.
  • Requires California to apply for a federal waiver that would allow undocumented immigrants to buy health insurance with their own money through Covered California.
  • Establishes a capped enrollment program through Medi-Cal to expand access to adults 19 and over, regardless of immigration status.  

Here are some highlights from today’s floor debate:

Senator Lara began by stating the reasons that Health for All is necessary in our communities:

He was followed by a number of Senators expressing their support for the legislation, including:

Senator Andy Vidak (R – Fresno, Bakersfield)

Senator Richard Pan (D – Sacramento)

Senator Ed Hernandez (D – West Covina)

Senator Ben Hueso (D – Chula Vista)

Senator Isadore Hall (D – Los Angeles)

And after the vote, there was much rejoicing:

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