Undocumented Californians’ health is a priority at The California Endowment. Their contributions to the state of California are far too often overlooked. They work, they pay taxes, they buy homes and start families; in short, they are just like everyone else, except they aren’t able to access the benefits their tax dollars fund.
The Endowment believes all Californians – regardless of immigration status – should have access to health care, including preventive services that help keep us healthy and keep costs down. We launched the #Health4All campaign in 2013 because we wanted finish the job health reform overlooked.
Now, in light of President Obama’s executive order which allows for the expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the creation of Deferred Action for Parents and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), between 360,000 and 500,000 immigrants living in California would become eligible for Medi-Cal should the court uphold it.
The truth about how the undocumented access health care in the U.S. is rarely told. Most avoid going to the doctor for a variety of reasons, including fear of deportation and unaffordability. It isn’t until their health condition becomes a crisis that they will they seek care, usually at an emergency room or community clinic. We often hear some folks saying the undocumented come here to get services. This couldn’t be more false. Immigrants are very reticent to access any social or welfare programs as they fear they could compromise their ability to become a citizen.
A new policy brief by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research provides readers with the impact the executive order will have on undocumented Californians' access to health care. I urge you to read it. I also suggest you read a new Greenlining Institute issue brief Voices from the Front Lines: Barriers to Health Care for Undocumented Californians. It provides insights into undocumented Californians perceptions about accessing health care in the California.
Click here to read a press release about the policy brief by UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
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