When we talk about immigration, we don’t talk enough about the health of our families. As we work to improve the lives of immigrants and their families, we must remove barriers to health care and ensure that everyone receives the care they need. Our country will be stronger when all communities – regardless of immigration status – have access to care and the same opportunity at a healthy future.
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has expanded health care coverage options for some immigrants, immigration status continues to stand as the major social determinant impacting health and hampering the progress of immigrant communities in unnecessary ways. The report includes the following recommendations to promote public health and economic well-being:
This week, Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families and The Children’s Partnership released a new paper outlining how to get ready for big coverage opportunities in California. It highlights opportunities that will provide coverage to more than a million people in California’s immigrant families when immigration relief takes effect.
But as spelled out in the paper, Immigration Relief for Parents and Youth = Whole Family Health Coverage in California, while we wait for some of the immigration relief-related coverage options in California to become available, there is a lot that advocates and community organizations can do right now to cover eligible children and youth in immigrant families. Here is the rundown of coverage opportunities “now playing” in California and also “coming soon” that could get many more children, youth, and parents in immigrant families covered.
Now Playing: More than 400,000 children in immigrant families are already eligible for full scope or state-funded Medi-Cal but are not yet enrolled. It is not too soon to roll up our sleeves and get to work on covering them. Here’s the breakdown:
With last month’s Supreme Court ruling affirming that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is here to stay, advocates and decisionmakers can turn to building on the law’s success, such as closing the Medicaid gap, improving the value of care, and eliminating the “family glitch.” Another top priority in this next phase of health reform is making good on the promise of health care for all, regardless of immigration status. This includes the approximately 11.2 million undocumented immigrants who live and work in our country.
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Today is Cesar Chavez Day, a celebration of a man who helped organize California’s farmworkers, a largely immigrant population, in a movement to achieve basic rights. Four decades later, that work continues, as immigrants and advocates across California, and the country, work to secure the right to health care.
Last November, we witnessed a victory for the immigrant rights movement when President Barack Obama issued executive actions expanding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and creating a new program, Deferred Action for Parents U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA). These actions allowed millions of undocumented immigrants across the country to stay without fear of deportation. It also opened the door to public health care programs for millions.