Millions of Californians Have Gained Insurance, While Undocumented Still Struggle

Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 415-846-7758 (cell)
Anthony Galace, Greenlining Institute Health Policy Fellow, 510-926-4009

BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA – Over two million Californians have gained health coverage due to the Affordable Care Act, but the ACA specifically excludes more than one million undocumented Californians. To help ensure that this population gets treated as human beings and not just a statistical abstraction, The Greenlining Institute held in-depth discussions with undocumented Californians from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and compiled their thoughts and experiences into a new report to be released Monday, March 23.

Journalists can preview the report, “Voices from the Front Lines: Barriers to Health Care for Undocumented Californians,” by clicking the link above and using the password Voices (password is case-sensitive).

The portrait that emerged from the discussions shows hard-working Californians living in fear of serious illness, avoiding care because of the cost, relying on home remedies, and putting their lives at risk as a result. “I don’t really go to the doctor because it’s expensive, unless it’s really, really bad,” one participant told Greenlining’s researchers. “I didn’t get a checkup for years until I started college.” Participants also identified a number of other issues with the health care system, including a lack of cultural and linguistic competency.

“These are our neighbors, and they make a huge contribution to our culture and our economy,” said Greenlining Institute Health Policy Fellow Anthony Galace, the report’s author. “Every Californian will be better off if all of our neighbors have access to the health care they need. Fortunately, we can get that done this year if the legislature passes Senate Bill 4, the Health for All Act.”


A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute