Politics

Harris: ‘Any Human Being’ in U.S. Should Have Access to Health Care, Public Education

Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) on Sunday voiced her support for illegal immigrants having access to health care and public education.

Harris appeared on CNN's State of the Union, where she was asked to address part of the Sen. Bernie Sander's (I., Vt.) Medicare for all bill.

"The bill also says, ‘Every individual who is a resident of the United States is entitled to benefits for health care services under this act.' Not every individual is a citizen, but every individual is a resident, so you support giving universal health care and Medicare for All to people who are in this country illegally?" Host Jake Tapper asked.

"Let me just be very clear about this. I am opposed to any policy that would deny in our country any human being from access to public safety, public education, or public health. Period." Harris said.

Harris isn't the only 2020 Democratic candidate who has said illegal immigrants should get access to health care. Former Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday said the "United States is obligated to give health care to everyone, "regardless of whether they are documented or undocumented."

"Look, I think that anyone who is in a situation where they are in need of health care, regardless of whether they are documented or undocumented, we have an obligation to see that they are cared for," Biden said. "That's why I think we need more clinics in this country."

Providing health care to illegal immigrants has become a major policy issue in California over the last year. California's new Democratic governor, Gavin Newsom, has proposed expanding "eligibility to unauthorized young adult immigrants from age 19 through 25," according to the Sacramento Bee.

California already allows eligible immigrant children up to age 19 to participate in Medi-Cal, the state's Medicaid program for low-income residents, regardless of their immigration status. The current budget sets aside $365.2 million to pay for the coverage.

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His office estimates it would cost nearly $260 million to cover them in 2019-20. While state and federal governments usually share Medicaid costs, California would have to bear the full cost of covering this population.