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Contentious Healthcare Measures Part Of Final California Budget

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Sacramento, CA — A new budget agreed upon by state leaders will expand the Medicaid program to younger adult immigrants in the country illegally, and place a penalty on residents who fail to have health insurance.

They are two of the most contentious aspects of the $213-billion spending plan that were negotiated over the weekend. Low income adults, between the ages of 19-25, will become eligible for Medicaid effective January 1st of next year. The program will cost an estimated $98-million. It does not apply to those 26 and older, as some Democratic lawmakers had proposed, as Newsom was against it, concerned that expanding it further would cost too much money.

Also, there will be a new tax placed on anyone who does not have health insurance, with the cost based on income. The money raised would go to help middle class families receive a subsidy to help pay for insurance.

The deal was agreed upon by Newsom, along with leaders in the Senate and Assembly. The budget must be approved by both houses, with a formal vote, by June 15.