Officials in California are stumped over how to solve a serious issue of homelessness in Los Angeles and other cities, but they have figured out a way to provide taxpayer-funded health care to tens of thousands of illegal immigrants.

Los Angeles County alone experienced a 12 percent increase in its homeless population between 2017 and 2018, while Los Angeles proper registered a 16 percent increase. Currently, some 59,000 people are living on the streets in L.A. County. The situation is so bad that worries about outbreaks of disease such as typhus and bubonic plague keep health officials up at night.

Addiction, mental health, the extreme cost of living, and a severe shortage of affordable housing all contribute to the problem. Thousands of those most impacted by the crisis are veterans.

While no one in the bastion of liberalism seems able to figure out a solution to the problem, Democrat Governor Gavin Newsome and the Democrat-controlled legislature has come up with a plan to provide full health benefits for as many as 90,000 low-income illegal immigrants. The idea is to expand the existing Medi-Cal program by adding another $98 million on the backs of the taxpayers.

The Associated Press quotes Anthony Wright, the executive director of the advocacy group Health Access, on how the program might work: "A family of four earning as much as six times the federal poverty level—or more than $150,000 a year—would be eligible to get about $100 a month from the government to help pay their monthly health insurance premiums."

The AP says to pay for the program, California would start taxing people who don't have health insurance. You know, kinda like Obama's failed individual mandate.

It is outrageous that California would tax its citizens to provide health benefits to illegals. It is even more outrageous when you consider that thousands of homeless veterans continue to sleep on the streets of Los Angeles with no help in sight.

These types of policies are what the "new" socialist left would like to impose upon all the rest of us. Just remember, only you can prevent a leftist takeover of our great nation.

Vote no for socialism.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.