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California’s Health Care Available to Illegal Immigrants Covers Sex Change Surgeries, Hormones

Sruti Mamidanna/KQED
Sruti Mamidanna/KQED

By: Jennie Taer, Daily Caller News Foundation

The state of California’s program providing taxpayer-funded health care to illegal immigrants covers sex change surgeries and hormones, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation review of the program.

The program, which is known as Medi-Cal, covers hormone therapy and surgical procedures “that bring primary and secondary gender characteristics into conformity with the individual’s identified gender, including ancillary services, such as hair removal, incident to those services,” according to a state memo from May 2022. Roughly 700,000 illegal immigrants in the state between the age of 26 and 49 qualify for full coverage as of Jan. 1, California State Sen. María Elena Durazo said in May of the state’s latest move to expand the program.

In 2015, then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law allowing illegal migrant children to qualify for Medi-Cal. Gov. Gavin Newsom expanded the coverage in 2019 for illegal immigrants ages 19 to 25, which will now be expanded to cover migrants up to age 50.

“Gender affirming care is a covered Medi-Cal benefit when medically necessary. 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 read.

“Medical necessity is assessed and services shall be recommended by treating licensed mental health professionals and physicians and surgeons experienced in treating patients with incongruence between their gender identity and gender assigned at birth,” the memo adds.

In recent years, there’s been a massive surge in illegal immigration at the southern border, where federal authorities recorded more than 2 million encounters of migrants crossing the southern border illegally in fiscal year 2023 and more than 2.2 million in fiscal year 2022, according to federal data.

“In California, we believe everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care coverage – regardless of income or immigration status,” Newsom’s office told ABC News of the latest expansion. “Through this expansion, we’re making sure families and communities across California are healthier, stronger, and able to get the care they need when they need it.”

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