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New Yorkers buy Medicaid for illegal migrants in Hochul, Dems budget

Illegal immigrants age 65 and older can get taxpayer-funded health care under the record-breaking $220 billion state budget signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul and passed by lawmakers — a move critics say will hurt people undocumented will incite New York to flood the benefits.

A provision in the budget allows up to 20,000 illegally living elderly residents to apply for Medicaid, the public health insurance program for those in need that has helped more than 7 million residents during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

A person would only need to have an income of less than $18,754 to qualify.

Medicaid is largely funded by the federal government with contributions from state and local governments. But US law prohibits using federal dollars on illegal immigrants, so New York has to foot the entire $220 million cost to cover elderly undocumented immigrants.

“It’s a slippery slope. New York keeps people from ever becoming citizens. New York blurs the distinction. We shouldn’t reward people who don’t play by the rules,” said Sen. George Borello (R-Jamestown).

The wording in the Budget does not specify the eligibility requirements for undocumented residents to qualify for Medicaid benefits, such as: B. living in New York or the USA for a certain period of time. The Hochul administration had no immediate comment on the rules.

But the state Department of Health’s current rule for Medicaid recipients has a lax stay standard. All an applicant needs to do is prove that they reside in New York State “regardless of the length of their stay.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul's $220 billion state budget will allow illegal immigrants in New York over the age of 65 to receive Medicaid.
Gov. Kathy Hochul’s $220 billion state budget will allow illegal immigrants in New York over the age of 65 to receive Medicaid.
Hans Penink

“This is new territory,” said Bill Hammond, a health analyst at the Empire Center for Public Policy.

“Part of the problem with undocumented people is that they don’t have documents. They live off the grid to a certain extent.”

Democratic lawmakers defended the illegal pro-immigrant policy, saying concerns about costs cited by Hochul’s Budget Office would limit the program to older non-citizens. An estimated 700,000 undocumented people live in New York.

State Senator George Borello said the provision could deter immigrants from becoming US citizens.
State Senator George Borello said the provision could deter immigrants from becoming US citizens.
Hans Penink

“Both chambers included major expansions of health insurance for undocumented immigrants in our budget proposals. But the Budget Department has put a much higher price than even the conservative-leaning Citizens Budget Commission, based on extremely high assumptions about enrollment,” said Assembly Health Committee Chair Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan).

“Therefore, we could only win this closer proposal. This proposal will extend coverage to tens of thousands of aging New Yorkers.”

The budget also provides mothers with postpartum medical care from 60 days to a year, regardless of immigration status, Gottfried noted.

The chairman of the assembly's health committee, Richard Gottfried, said the provision will extend health care to tens of thousands of New Yorkers.
The chairman of the assembly’s health committee, Richard Gottfried, said the provision will extend health care to tens of thousands of New Yorkers.
Photo by Ron Adar/SOPA Images/Sipa USA

Gottfried said there was “no fundamental opposition” to the provision of preventative medical care to illegal immigrants in the Democratic assembly.

Rep. Tom Abinanti (D-Tarrytown), a member of the Health Committee, agreed.

“The only way to keep everyone healthy is to provide healthcare to everyone. This is good health policy. It was the right thing to do,” he said.

Immigration advocates welcomed the extension of coverage to mothers and seniors who are undocumented residents.

“Much more needs to be done, but we are pleased that we will no longer deny our elderly and post-pregnancy people access to quality and affordable health care,” said Murad Awawdeh, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/11/nyers-buy-medicaid-for-illegal-migrants-in-hochul-dems-budget/ New Yorkers buy Medicaid for illegal migrants in Hochul, Dems budget

JACLYN DIAZ

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