SACRAMENTO, CA – Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) released a statement after the Assembly Health Committee approved health coverage for all seniors with the 11-4 passage of Senate Bill 974, Health4All Elders. SB 974 would extend the state’s low-income Medi-Cal program to all Californians age 65 and over regardless of their immigration status.
SB 974’s implementation is contingent on funding, and it heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee. On Monday, Senator Lara was the only Democrat to vote against the budget trailer bill because of its failure to fund health insurance for undocumented elders and expand healthcare affordability.
“Being able to go to the doctor is something most of us take for granted, especially when we get older. But as many as 30,000 California residents age 65 or over do not have a regular doctor.
“That is no way to treat people who have worked their whole lives, raised families, and paid their share in taxes.
“In the long run the cost of coverage will far outweigh the cost of letting seniors fend for themselves and die early. If we truly believe healthcare is a human right, then we must make this down payment on the healthy future of our state.”