Boebert, Vivek Speak Out as California Healthcare Plan Includes Gender-Affirming Surgery for Immigrants

Republicans are furious with California’s recent policy that eligible illegal immigrants living in the state will be entitled to gender-affirming care. Boebert reacted to the news by stating that “California is the punchline.”

The controversial policy

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Under California’s new policy, many illegal immigrants who live in the state will be eligible for gender-affirming care through Medi-Cal, California’s iteration of Medicare. The policy, which came into action on January 1st, 2024, will cover all immigrants who meet the necessary criteria, such as meeting a low-income threshold or residing in the U.S. since 2014.

Harmful healthcare

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Unsurprisingly, the news has not been received well by Republicans. Many conservatives, believing that transitioning is a harmful and unnatural process, argue that gender-affirming care should be banned altogether.

California burdened by immigrants?

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On top of this, several right-leaning figures have argued that illegal immigrants should not be entitled to so many of California’s services. California has become renowned for its high tax rates, which many Republicans believe are being used to support too many immigrants while taking away from U.S. nationals.

Boebert reacts

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Republican Lauren Boebert reacted to the news in a post on X. “California is now paying for illegal aliens to get sex changes. There’s no punchline to this tweet. California is the punchline,” she tweeted.

Calls for stricter border control

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Responding to Boebert, animator Paul Szypula said, “California is horrible but so is the US border. Republicans in Congress had a year as majority to address it but refused to be tough when needed.”

Vivek speaks up

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Republican Vivek Ramaswamy also weighed in on the policy. In a reply to Fox News’s tweet about the news, he remarked, “I feel like this was a @TheBabylonBee headline a week ago.” The Babylon Bee has become well-known for posting ‘fake news,’ similar to The Onion.

Border crossings on the rise

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As illegal border crossings continue to rise, the debate around immigrants and their rights is far from over. Newsweek reported that in December 2023, law enforcement encountered around 9,600 migrants per day.

700,000 eligible immigrants

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According to Fox News, under the policy’s rules, around 700,000 immigrants between the ages of 26 and 49 will qualify for the gender-affirming services. However, it remains unclear whether a significant number of eligible immigrants will opt in.

California policy explained

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A state memo about the policy released last year expanded on California’s decision. “Gender affirming care is a covered Medi-Cal benefit when medically necessary,” it read. “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.”

Newsom’s inclusivity argument

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In a statement to ABC News, a spokesperson for California Governor Gavin Newsom asserted, “In California, we believe everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care coverage – regardless of income or immigration status.”

Healthcare for all

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“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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