The bill, HB 335, expands eligibility to those who would qualify for Medicaid but are excluded due to their illegal immigration status.
The Lund Report estimates that there are more than 110,000 illegal aliens living in Oregon and that the bill would cost taxpayers $100 million in the next two years.
Lawmakers in favor of the bill suggest that the legislation “would expand Medicaid coverage to include approximately 100,000 Oregonians who would otherwise be eligible except for their status as undocumented immigrants.”
“When opportunities in our state are withheld from a specific class of people, we perpetuate systems of inequity,” said the lawmakers. “As legislators of color, we believe it is important to challenge the injustices that have been in our nation and state since their founding.”
“All Oregonians must have quality, affordable health care, regardless of who they are or where they live,” said Gov. Brown in March. “During my time as Governor, we’ve made great strides in expanding access. Currently, 94 percent of Oregonians and 100 percent of children have access to health care. The pandemic has taught us this is not good enough. And unfortunately, our communities of color have paid the price. Gaps in coverage persist, and these gaps are disproportionately borne by communities of color.”