Local

Senate holds Lara's immigrant health coverage bill

In this file photo, state Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) holds a press conference to introduce SB 1005, the Health For All Act, which would subsidize health insurance for undocumented immigrants. Feb. 14, 2014. On Friday the Senate voted to put the bill on hold, a move that makes it harder for it to advance because it will require a two-thirds vote.
In this file photo, state Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) holds a press conference to introduce SB 1005, the Health For All Act, which would subsidize health insurance for undocumented immigrants. Feb. 14, 2014. On Friday the Senate voted to put the bill on hold, a move that makes it harder for it to advance because it will require a two-thirds vote.
Adrian Florido

The state Senate is holding legislation that seeks to extend health care coverage to immigrants who are in the country illegally until lawmakers find a way to pay for it.

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Friday held SB1005 by Democratic Sen. Ricardo Lara of Long Beach. The move makes it harder for the bill to advance because it will require a two-thirds vote.

Federal health care reforms prohibit immigrants in the country illegally from receiving subsidies for insurance or qualifying for Medicaid coverage, known as Medi-Cal in California.

The bill proposes to extend Medi-Cal benefits to them while also creating a separate health benefit exchange to provide subsidies.

It would cost as much as $900 million in additional Medi-Cal spending and up to $400 million more in state subsidies.