Today is the Senate Health Committee vote on SB1005 (Lara), the bill to extend the same help the ACA provides to get affordable health coverage to all Californians, regardless of immigration status. It would expand state-only Medi-Cal and set up a mirror marketplace, parallel to Covered California, to provide such assistance.
This would help the individual Californian and their family no longer be uninsured, living sicker, dying younger, being one emergency away from financial ruin. But it also helps the health system be more efficient and effective, by focusing on primary and preventive care, rather than more complicated and costly episodic and emergency care.
As Congress delays immigration reform, California can and should lead. Just as last year we understood that our highways are safer for all if undocumented drivers could apply and be tested to get licenses, our health system will be stronger and more stable for all if undocumented patients were insured.
Health Access is proud to be leading on this work with a broad coalition of great organizations and leaders. Below is an ad that features a former intern of ours, telling his story, and the need to continue reform here in California.