It may surprise many that not all undocumented immigrants need Medi-Cal to cover their medical expenses, as one might think from the ongoing discussions on how to make sure all Californians have affordable medical insurance.
It’s true, many of California’s residents are in the country without authorization, and they have contributed to the overcrowding of emergency medical care delivery systems such as hospital emergency rooms because they have no other option to receive the medical care for which they cannot afford to pay.
While undocumented immigrants can purchase private insurance, the options available to them are often very limited and cost prohibitive, as it is for millions of legal residents.
The new DAPA – expanded DACA – rules allowing some undocumented immigrants to live and work in the U.S. temporarily without fear of deportation, could also open the door for many of them to receive subsidized medical insurance, either through their employer or government programs such as state funded Medi-Cal.
While that’s an important step forward, more than one million Californians will still be left without medical insurance due to federal regulations that do not allow them to participate in the benefits of the Affordable Care Act, such as insurance through Covered California.
State Sen. Ricardo Lara of Bell Gardens wants to fill that void and has introduced SB 4, “Health Care for All,” a measure that would expand health care access to all Californians regardless of their immigration status. Support for passage in the 2015 legislative session is growing.
We believe Lara’s bill is an important step in ensuring the health of all Californians and freeing up our overburdened emergency care system. We urge the State Legislature to pass and Gov. Brown to sign SB 4 into law.
Passage will put us on a path to a more enlightened, healthier future for all Californians.Posted - Copyright © 2022 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.