POLITICS

California considering bill that would give undocumented immigrants health insurance

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 18:  The Covered California website is displayed during a healthcare enrollment fair at the office of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West on March 18, 2014 in San Francisco, California. With less than two weeks to go before the deadline to sign up for healthcare, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) held a free healthcare enrollment fair to help people sign up for free and low-cost health coverage through Medi-Cal or Covered California.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MARCH 18: The Covered California website is displayed during a healthcare enrollment fair at the office of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West on March 18, 2014 in San Francisco, California. With less than two weeks to go before the deadline to sign up for healthcare, SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) held a free healthcare enrollment fair to help people sign up for free and low-cost health coverage through Medi-Cal or Covered California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)  (2014 Getty Images)

Legislators in California introduced a bill this week that asks the federal government for permission to sell health insurance through the Covered California exchange to people who can’t prove they’re legally in the country.

Democrats in the Assembly Health Committee approved SB10 on Tuesday.

The proposal by Democratic Sen. Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens would extend California’s recent efforts to integrate people living in the country without authorization.

Immigrants would not be eligible for subsidies to help pay for coverage. It’s unclear how many immigrants could afford the unsubsidized premiums, which can cost hundreds of dollars per month.

Immigrants without legal status can buy health coverage through an insurance agent, but the bill’s supporters say more would sign up through the Covered California website.

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Critics say lawmakers should focus on problems affecting American citizens.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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