New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday that the city will provide illegal immigrants with a way to obtain affordable health care as part of a broader program to cover city residents traditionally shut out of insurance options.
The liberal mayor said it is unacceptable that 600,000 city residents still lack options. They include immigrants who cannot access federal benefits but rack up costs anyway when they show up at emergency rooms.
Across the country, meanwhile, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a more targeted push this week to extend health care benefits to young adult illegal immigrants, placing them on par with U.S. citizens who can stay on their parents’ plans under Obamacare.
Taken together, the proposals reopen the thorny debate over providing taxpayer-funded benefits to people living in the U.S. illegally, an idea that flies in the face of Mr. Trump’s fight against illegal immigration and places that offer them sanctuary.
Mr. de Blasio said distinguishing between illegal immigrants and citizens doesn’t make sense for health care.
“We’re going to have a lot of people going to work sick and making everyone else sick,” the mayor said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program. “We want a healthy society in every sense, and here is a way to invest upfront to get it right.”