End of Title 42 Highlights IL Spending on Undocumented Healthcare

Illinois Democrats continue effort to expand $1.1 billion program for undocumented immigrant healthcare

As Title 42 expires and thousands amass at the United States border with Mexico, State Senator Win Stoller (R-Germantown Hills) is highlighting the ballooning cost of a billion-dollar program that provides healthcare to undocumented adults in Illinois.

“As our state’s taxpayer-funded healthcare program for undocumented immigrants exceeds expected and budgeted costs to the tune of $1.1 billion, the end of Title 42 sets our state down the road of even more future budgetary struggles,” said Sen. Stoller. “Illinois is the only state in the nation that offers to completely foot the healthcare bill for undocumented immigrants 42 and older. This program makes Illinois a desired landing spot for the new wave of immigrants that will undoubtedly enter the nation now that Title 42 has expired, which will only make this program’s costs to skyrocket even more.”

The Health Benefits for Immigrant Seniors program was implemented in 2020 to provide benefits to undocumented immigrants aged 65 and older. It has since been incrementally expanded to include individuals aged 42 and up and renamed Health Benefits for Immigrant Adults (HBIA).

Because Democrats relied on an estimate provided by advocates that grossly underestimated the number of people who would enroll – and failed to verify that it would be accurate – it exceeded its yearly appropriation in the first month it was in place. As Democrats have expanded the program, that trend has only continued, and next year it will cost taxpayers $1.1 billion. Governor Pritzker, who boasted about Illinois’ status as the only state in the nation offering healthcare to undocumented immigrants at this scale, is now walking back that enthusiasm as costs continue to rise. 

Despite ballooning costs, Democratic legislators continue pushing to further expand the program. Senate Bill 122 would expand taxpayer-funded coverage to all undocumented adults. This expansion would add an additional $380 million to the program’s cost, bringing the total tab for taxpayers to nearly $1.5 billion.

As pandemic-era funding dries up and the economy slows down, Senator Stoller is urging Democrat colleagues to consider budgetary pressures Illinois faces and be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.

“Despite the fact that Democrats know that our state has real and serious budgetary constraints due to less than expected revenue and dried up federal pandemic funding, we are seeing a push to expand the eligibility for our state’s undocumented immigrant healthcare program,” continued Sen. Stoller. “This would mean prioritizing even more taxpayer funds for this already bloated program that should be spent on our state’s most vulnerable citizens.”

Win Stoller

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