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Fauci: Federal government won’t mandate vaccine passports

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, in a Politico Dispatch podcast interview published Monday, said that the federal government will not require the use of vaccine passports for travel or business.

“I doubt that the federal government will be the main mover of a vaccine passport concept,” Fauci, the nation’s foremost infectious disease expert,

“They may be involved in making sure things are done fairly and equitably, but I doubt if the federal government is going to be the leading element of that.”

This echoes what the White House said last week that vaccine passports will be driven by the private sector.

Fauci’s comments also come as many Republicans express outrage at the concept. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Friday went as far as to ban them from being mandated via executive order.

RELATED: DeSantis signs executive order prohibiting vaccine passports

During the interview, Fauci also said he believes “individual entities,” including theaters and colleges, will be the ones to decide on passports.

“I’m not saying that they should or that they would, but I’m saying you could foresee how an independent entity might say, ‘Well, we can’t be dealing with you unless we know you’re vaccinated,’ but it’s not going to be mandated from the federal government,” he said.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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Healthcare

CA to provide all low-income illegal immigrants health care at a cost of ‘$2.7 billion a year’

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On Thursday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a $307.9 billion operating budget “that pledges to make all low-income adults eligible for the state’s Medicaid program by 2024 regardless of their immigration status” reports the Associated Press.

The guarantee of free health care for low-income immigrants here illegally, is a “move that will provide coverage for an additional 764,000 people at an eventual cost of about $2.7 billion a year” adds the AP.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health care nonprofit, people living in the country illegally in 2020 accounted for roughly 7% of the population nationwide, or about 22.1 million people. The border crisis and number of migrants entering the United States illegally has skyrocketed to historic levels since 2020 when President Joe Biden took office.

Medicaid nationwide is the current combination of federal and state governments assisting Americans and low-income adults and children to receive free health care, but the federal government does not cover those living here illegally.

“Some states, including California, have used their own tax dollars to cover a portion of health care expenses for some low-income immigrants” reports the AP. “Now, California wants to be the first to do that for everyone.”

“This will represent the biggest expansion of coverage in the nation since the start of the Affordable Care Act in 2014,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a statewide consumer health care advocacy group. “In California we recognize (that) everybody benefits when everyone is covered.”

While 92% of Californians currently have some form of health insurance, “that will change once this budget is fully implemented, as adults living in the country illegally make up one of the largest groups of people without insurance in the state” the AP concludes.

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