The California Assembly approved a bill on Tuesday that would permit undocumented immigrants access to Covered California, the state's health insurance marketplace.
Under federal law undocumented immigrants are barred from any of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act.
Senate Bill 10 would direct California to ask the federal government for a waiver that would permit undocumented immigrants the option to buy insurance on Covered California -- with their own money. It passed by a vote of 54-19.
California would be the first state to make such a request.
“This waiver will allow an estimated 390,000 immigrants who earn an income too high to qualify for Medi-Cal to purchase healthcare through the exchange under the Affordable Care Act," said Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, author of the bill.