California Must Pass Health4All — San Diego Community Members Share Their Family Stories

Undocumented Californians are our friends, neighbors, and loved ones. They help to keep our economy — the fifth largest in the nation — thriving, and contribute to our culture of diversity, opportunity, and hope. However, many undocumented Californians are facing a crisis that may prove deadly — a lack of access to healthcare because of their immigration status.

In 2015, California passed “Health4All Kids”, which expanded Medi-Cal coverage to undocumented children under the age of 19. While this has helped improve the lives of thousands of children, it left out over a million undocumented adults and seniors. Undocumented Californians are the largest single group of uninsured individuals in the state, and because of this, many of our loved ones suffer and even die from treatable illnesses due to lack of care.

The Health4All Campaign is urging the California legislature to exercise their leadership and expand the reach of “Health4All Kids” by passing a budget that includes Medi-Cal coverage for all Californians who meet the income requirement, regardless of their immigration status or age.

Governor Newsom included funding in his proposed budget for undocumented young adults ages 19-25 to be able to access Medi-Cal, but this proposal fails to provide healthcare for older adults, including our community elders who may need it the most.

Read the stories below from community members whose families have been deeply impacted because of their loved ones’ inability to access healthcare. These are the stories of individuals who would be left out of the Governor’s current proposal.

No one should have to wait for an emergency to be able to access healthcare, or lose a loved one because they did not have access to healthcare. Call today and urge the Budget Conference Committee and Governor Newsom to include #Health4All and #Health4AllElders as part of the state budget on June 15.   

Jesus’ Story

“Accessing health care as a mixed status family is difficult, to say the least. As a DACA recipient, I am eligible for Medi-Cal and so is my sister, a US citizen. For my parents however, the closest they get to health insurance is Emergency Medi-Cal coverage. My dad has lived with diabetes for almost 10 years and takes medicine daily. For the last couple of years my mom has been dealing with thyroid issues. She’s been referred to specialists countless times, sent for blood work and other procedures, all of which she’s had to pay for out of pocket.

If my parents had any serious or life-threatening health complications, the financial impact would devastate my family’s limited stability. Health4All holds a promise for my parents to access health care that meets their needs and supports their longevity. A budget that includes access to healthcare for adults 26 and older, would support the wellbeing of my parents and countless others in my communities.”

 

Francisco’s Story

“After overcoming many obstacles, I finally graduated from California University San Marcos this year, the first of my eight siblings to do so. Sadly, the person who supported me most — my mom — did not get to see me receive my degree. My mom lived in Escondido, California for almost 20 years, and while she supported and contributed to our community, she was excluded from our healthcare system because of her lack of immigration status.

Over a year ago, mom started suffering from strong abdominal pain so my family took her to the community clinic, only to find the care she needed was not provided there. The trouble was most facilities don’t take people without insurance. After eight months of refusals and uncertainty, a doctor gave us the hard truth — mom had final stage gallbladder cancer. Mom passed away two weeks later at the hospital surrounded by our family.

Health4All is about life. Low-income undocumented Californians are locked out of access to healthcare, and are dying from treatable conditions. No one should suffer or die due to lack of access to health care simply because of where they were born.”

 

Karen’s Story

“I understand firsthand what it’s like to be left without healthcare coverage because when the Affordable Care Act passed, my family members and I were explicitly excluded because of their immigration status.

My father, an immigrant from Mexico who put down roots in San Diego nearly two decades ago, continues to be unjustly excluded from healthcare coverage, even though he works day in and day out on his knees installing floors for commercial buildings, hospitals and clinics. Lately, his health has been deteriorating, as he suffers from Type II Diabetes, hypertension and joint pain — chronic conditions that require routine follow-ups, monitoring and proper treatment.

Without affordable healthcare coverage, my father constantly foregoes care. I fear that his chronic conditions will worsen and continue to wreak havoc on his body. Health4All would improve health outcomes for hard-working, undocumented Californians like my father, and ensure another life-saving opportunity to seek preventative care whenever it’s needed. Undocumented Californians are students, mothers, fathers, neighbors and community members. They form a vital part of our state, and it’s time to enact Health4All.”

Irving’s Story

“The fight for basic human rights for our immigrant communities has always been broader than immigration reform at the federal level. We must pass legislation on all levels of government to provide protection for the most vulnerable in our communities, that includes getting access to healthcare.

Being born with asthma and having both cancer and diabetes run on both sides of my family makes me fearful of a day when I’ll need medical treatment, since the current system in California would make it impossible for me get that treatment. Fortunately, I have time on my side, but the elders in our communities don’t. Preventative care is a necessity and it’s the difference between life or death. It’s is absolutely essential for the state of California, my state, to pass Healthcare for All.”

 

Call today and urge these members of the Budget Conference Committee and Governor Newsome to include #Health4All and #Health4AllElders as part of the state budget on June 15.   

Budget Conference Committee

Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) — (916) 319-2019

Assemblymember Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) — (916) 319-2007

Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-San Diego) — (916) 319-2079

Senator Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) — (916) 651-4030

Senator Richard Roth (D-Riverside) — (916) 651-4031

Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) — (916) 651-4009

 

Leadership

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) — (916) 319-2063

Senate Pro Tempore Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) — (916) 651-4039

Governor Gavin Newsom — (916) 445-2841

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