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Immigration Health Care As many as 830000 non-citizen immigrants are residents of California Nearly one in five non-citizens under the age of 65 in California is covered by Medi-Cal Medi-Cal is an essential source of healthcare insurance for millions of low-income elderly and disabled residents of California Despite its anti-immigrant reputation California has been among the most generous of the 50 states in providing public aid to needy non-citizens who lost benefits in the 1996 federal welfare overhaul Under current law legal immigrants are eligible for Medi-Cal if they meet income and other requirements established by the state Illegal immigrants may obtain Medi-Cal only for emergency medical services and for prenatal care California home to about one-third of the nations immigrants passed ballot initiatives in this decade targeting illegal immigrants health care affirmative action and bilingual education Last year taxpayers spent more than one-hundred million dollars in aid and benefits for immigrants Governor Gray Davis in one of several early attempts to reverse his republican predecessors policies wants the state to spend 60 million on prenatal care for poor pregnant women who are illegal immigrants money that former Governor Pete Wilson repeatedly fought to cut from Californias bugdet It is estimated that for every dollar the state spends on health care for pregnant women it saves 300 in health care costs for infants who otherwise would be born with preventable maladies The loss of this health coverage would primarily affect children and women by cutting access to essential health services such as prenatal care and emergency rooms This would then result in higher medical costs increased cost to taxpayers due to people delaying to seek medical attention and unnecessary hospitalizations Those hurt most by restricting prenatal care health advocates said would be United States born children who are automatically citizens regardless of their mothers immigration status
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