In the tense political maneuvering between California’s progressive representatives and the Trump administration, our state may have just blinked first.
The repeal and replacement of Obamacare has been one the most consistent promises of President Donald Trump during his successful campaign. And, controlling illegal immigration has been just about the biggest plank in Trump’s platform.
So, in the height of the general election campaign, our state’s politicians decided it would be a great idea to be the first state to offer Obamacare to illegal immigrants.
In a Sept. 30 letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, Covered California’s Executive Director Peter Lee said that the Affordable Care Act has been “tremendously successful” in the state and has cut the rate of uninsured in half.
“While millions of Californians have benefited from coverage purchased through the Covered California marketplace, certain individuals are prohibited from buying insurance through our state marketplace due to their immigration status,” Lee wrote, before requesting the waiver.
Fast-forward to this month, when Governor Jerry Brown (who threatened to build state-sponsored satellites to thwart Trump’s policies), announces a $1.9 billion deficit due to a Medi-Cal accounting error and the fact that tax revenues were lower than expected.
The administration discovered accounting mistakes last fall, but it did not notify lawmakers until the administration included adjustments to make up for the errors in Brown’s budget proposal last week. The Democratic governor called for more than $3 billion in cuts because of a projected deficit he pegged at $1.6 billion.
…Brown’s deficit projection was driven by more than just the accounting error, Palmer said, noting that California tax collections came in below expectations for most of the first half of the fiscal year.
The massive hole in the Medi-Cal budget surprised state lawmakers.
“It makes you wonder what else is not right. … When something like this happens, the trust factor gets eroded, and you lose confidence in what’s being provided to you,” said Sen. John Moorlach, a Republican from Costa Mesa who serves on the Senate budget committee.
Making up for the Medi-Cal shortfall will mean the state can’t spend money on other priorities, such as college scholarships or paying down long-term pension liabilities, Moorlach said.
And you also can’t spend money on marketing or arranging for health insurance for illegal immigrants.
California officials withdrew a request Wednesday to let illegal immigrants buy unsubsidized insurance policies after learning the decision would fall to President-elect Donald Trump’s administration.
State Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, called the move “the first California casualty of the Trump presidency.”
The first, but not the last.
Trump = 1; California = 0.
I think we can consider this California’s inauguration gift to President Trump. I am certain our state will be on the losing end of Trump’s winning streak for some time to come.