What: ACLU-SoCal Pasadena/Foothills Chapter Public Forum
When: Tuesday, January 14, 2014, 7-9 PM
Where: Neighborhood Church, 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91103
Signed into law in March 2010, the Affordable Care Act was enacted to provide quality and affordable healthcare insurance to tens of millions of uninsured Americans. Yet over two million California residents cannot take advantage of that opportunity.
That’s because undocumented immigrants, who make up roughly one-seventh of Californians without insurance, are explicitly excluded from participating in the insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act. Also known as Obamacare, the program leaves some of the state’s poorest residents without access to enhanced health care, a restriction that also complicates enrollment for thousands of mixed families with U.S.-born children and undocumented parents.
Consequently, a sizable group of young and healthy members are eliminated from the insurance pools, leaving taxpayers with an annual $1 billion tab to treat uninsured immigrants in emergency rooms. Home to roughly 2.6 million undocumented immigrants, nearly a quarter of nation’s total, California will be especially hard hit.
Activists groups across Los Angeles County are working to extend Obamacare to undocumented immigrants, both to reduce an unnecessary financial burden on taxpayers, to include a large group of typically young and health workers in the insurance pool, and to treat these new Americans with the same respect afforded earlier waves of immigrants.
“California has a long tradition of treating our immigrants with dignity and respect,” said Ellen Wu of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network. “The state must also continue to take a leadership role. Whether that is using our existing programs such as Medi-Cal or Covered California to extend coverage to the uninsured, or incentivizing the counties to do the right thing, it’s time to finish the job and provide coverage for our undocumented immigrants. It’s good health policy. It’s good for the state’s prosperity. And it’s good for the health of all Californians.”
At the January 14th ACLU-SoCal Pasadena/Foothills forum, experts will discuss the #Health4All campaign and other efforts to ensure undocumented Californians, and mixed status families, can access comprehensive healthcare coverage. Please join Moderator Rosana Cacace, Planned Parenthood, Pasadena-San Gabriel Valley, and Panelists, Ellen Wu, California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, Vanessa Aramayo, California Partnership, and Reshma Shamasunder, California Immigrant Policy Center.
The event is free and open to the public. For more info, contact Unai Montes-Irueste, Communications Chair, ACLU-SC Pasadena/Foothills Chapter, firstname.lastname@example.org, or 310.962.7369.