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Rep. Huizenga tests positive for COVID-19

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Following the surge of officials in Washington, DC contracting the novel coronavirus over the past couple of weeks, Rep. Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.) added his name to the growing list, announcing on Wednesday that he has tested positive.

“Earlier today, I was expected to appear with the Vice President,” wrote Rep. Huizenga. “While taking part in offsite testing protocols, I took a rapid test that came back positive for COVID-19.”

“I am awaiting the results of a PCR test,” he added, “and I am self isolating until I have confirmed results.”

After President Donald Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, and advisor Hope Hicks announced in recent weeks that they had tested positive, a tsunami of officials in the nation’s capital reported that they had also contracted the virus. President Trump was forced to quarantine himself, taking up much-needed time away from the 2020 campaign trail, where every single day and event are critical to him and his re-election effort.

As of last Friday, the White House doctor reported that the president is “no longer considered a transmission risk to others.” He is now conducting in-person campaign events and rallies again.

Many experts have theorized that the event they’ve dubbed a “superspreader” which caused this outbreak was likely the Saturday, September 26 White House ceremony where the president announced Judge Amy Coney Barrett as his nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. Many of those who later revealed that they caught the virus attended this event.

Just a sliver of the list of those in D.C. who were infected include Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany; Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel; Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.); multiple national security officials; and among dozens more officials and staffers. Significant figures such as Vice President Mike Pence, Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who is Biden’s running mate, tested negative for the virus.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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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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