In March 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The purpose of this statute was to provide affordable healthcare for all who need it in the United States, regardless of gender or pre-existing conditions. As of March 31st, 2014, 7 million people have taken advantage of the new legislation and are now receiving health care benefits. However, the benefits have not been extended to all those who call the United States home. Undocumented immigrants- which make up almost 5% of the US workforce- are unable to take advantage of the new “healthcare for all” mentality. The California Immigrant Policy Center is working hard to make the dream of basic health care a reality for every undocumented immigrant in our state, and they are making sure everyone knows about them and their cause with the “Health For All Undocu-CARE-van”.
A journey covering more than 500 miles, the caravan took health advocates, youth leaders and undocumented immigrants traveled from San Diego to Sacramento to propose a new health care act, the Health for All act, which would allow any and all undocumented immigrants in California to access the same health care benefits Americans receive through the new legislation. Senator Ricardo Lara, representing Huntington Park and Long Beach, is the author of this new legislation which will hopefully gather more support in the upcoming months. This Undocu-CARE-van was one of the first steps towards creating awareness. The caravan of advocates boarded a 12-seater van covered in colorful signs, large posters of band-aids, and Vapor Rub bottles with the words “Health4All” emblazoned on the sides. These large images were designed to illustrate that the undocumented citizens of California are tired of treating their loved ones with ineffective home remedies.
“Excluding people from access to are hurts the overall health of our communities, and does not reflect California values.” says Senator Ricardo Lara, the man behind the creation of the new health plan.
To read the complete bill, visit http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB1005.