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HomeGeneralConservatives Fume as California Pays for Illegal Migrants Gender-Affirming Care

Conservatives Fume as California Pays for Illegal Migrants Gender-Affirming Care

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A picture of illegal migrants
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Conservatives have reacted with fury after California announced that illegal migrants in the state are eligible for gender-affirming care. The state announced that illegal migrants can undergo the procedure from Medi-Cal, the state’s version of Medicare.

Beginning January 1, 2024, all undocumented immigrants in California who meet specific criteria automatically qualify for Medi-Cal. The Golden State is expanding its massive healthcare system this year. However, at the expense of taxpayers. 

The new law means more taxpayer dollars will fund sex change surgeries for state residents, regardless of their citizenship status. According to a memo first circulated in May 2022, California’s Medi-Cal covers costs for hormone therapy. 

It also covers costs for procedures “that bring primary and secondary gender characteristics into conformity with the individual’s identified gender.” Consequently, nearly 700,000 illegal immigrants between the ages of 26 and 49 qualify as of January 1, 2024.

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“Gender-affirming care is a covered Medi-Cal benefit when medically necessary,” the memo states. “Requests for gender-affirming care should be from specialists experienced in providing culturally competent care to transgender and gender diverse individuals and should use nationally recognized guidelines.”

The memo adds that licensed mental health professionals, physicians, and surgeons determine “Medi-Cal necessity.” Also, it states that surgeons experienced in treating patients with a different gender identity from their birth gender shall recommend services.

According to the Transgender Law Center, Medi-Cal “should cover hormone treatment, gender reassignment surgery, and other necessary procedures.” Also, the organization explained that the law requires “Medi-Cal to evaluate requests on a case-by-case basis.”

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However, these federal healthcare services will cost California taxpayers an estimated $3.1 billion. Over the past few months, the U.S. has recorded a substantial surge in illegal crossings at the southern border. Law enforcement reported more than 9,600 migrant encounters a day during the first three weeks of December. 

Control over the U.S.-Mexico border looks to be a significant issue. With the Texas Governor busing down migrants to sanctuary cities, the Democratic mayors lament struggling to deal with the influx. However, California seems to welcome the influx, and the new development has outraged conservatives in the state.

Posting on X, formerly Twitter, Colorado House Republican Lauren Boebert criticized the policy. “California is now paying for illegal aliens to get sex changes. There’s no punchline to this tweet,” she commented. “California is the punchline.” California state guidelines say that illegal migrants can qualify for gender-affirming care.

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However, it is unclear if anyone has taken up this option. Responding to Boebert, conservative commentator Paul Szypula, who has more than 101,000 X followers, also blasted the state guidelines. “California is horrible, but so is the U.S. border,” he said. 

“Republicans in Congress had a year as a majority to address it but refused to be tough when needed.” Similarly, another X user responded by attacking Boebert. The user wrote, “Almost made it the whole day without some blathering bigotry. So close.”

Medi-Cal has been available to migrants aged 25 and under, or 50 and over, who met the required thresholds. However, California Governor Gavin Newsom extended it to all unregistered migrants. Conversely, Conservatives kick against the idea, arguing it is a waste of taxpayers’ money.

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