The California Senate voted on Tuesday to allow unauthorized immigrants to buy health insurance on a state exchange created under the U.S. Affordable Care Act, a measure that would make the state the first to offer that kind of coverage.
The bill would not provide a subsidy for undocumented immigrants to buy health insurance, unlike U.S. citizens and legal residents who can qualify for such assistance based on their incomes, said Jesse Melgar, a spokesman for the bill’s author, Senator Ricardo Lara.
The Senate voted 28-11 in favor of the proposal, which still must be approved by the state Assembly and signed by the governor, Melgar said. Additionally, a federal waiver would be required for California to implement the measure.
“Today’s vote is a transformational and decisive step forward on the path to achieving health for all,” Lara, a Democrat, said in a statement.