Undocumented Kern County residents could have access to health care under Newsom’s proposed budget plan

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LAMONT, Calif. (KGET) – California is already a sanctuary state for undocumented immigrants and immigrant advocates on Tuesday applauded the Governor’s plan to expand access to health care for the undocumented.

“We are going to be the first in the nation that will recognize our immigrants,” Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta said.  “It will give them the kind of healthcare that they need.”

Under Governor Newsom’s proposed plan, over 764,000 more undocumented immigrants would have access to health care, if the plan is passed and adopted.

Clinica Sierra Vista is one of the providers that offer health care to these disadvantaged communities, but the care they provide is not enough to keep these communities healthy.

“We need to make sure that everyone is being taken care of so that we can be safe together,” Clinica CEO Stacy Ferreira said.  “It’s not new but it would be a revolutionary approach in California.”

A relief for those who need access to medical attention and for those who provide them with it.

“There is a gap in care,” Ferreira said.  “While they have access in a community health center model, there is a challenge for patients that need higher-level care, hospitalization and that is a barrier and there is only so much that we can do in primary care.”

Kern County is known to be a red conservative county and while there has not been open opposition to the plan quite yet, Gov. Newsom says this would replace a system “that is costly and inefficient” and one “that does not lower costs for everyone” nor “provide outcomes to keep our communities safe.”

“I can care less if it’s a red county, it’s part of the state of California,” Newsom said in the press conference.  “Every damn resident in this county matters to me, every worker matters to me, I care, it’s not red or blue. We’re better than this.”

17 News reached out to the offices of several Republican leaders but has not heard back.

“The reality is that they are here in our community,” Ferreira said. “They are paying taxes on goods and everything they do in their daily lives.”

It’s a plan that will hopefully benefit families in our communities that have helped build Kern County with little to nothing in return.

“This nation was founded as a nation of immigrants,” Newsom said. “I will defend that diversity, I will defend our workforce, I will defend these families.”

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