Those residing in California who are undocumented face a number of challenges. The goal of having a better life in the United States is not as easy to attain as one would think. While there are many problems affecting these individuals and their families, having access to health care services is certainly a major concern. Navigating through the immigration process can take time, but time is something some do not have when dealing with health issues. To help with this, lawmakers are trying get a budget approved that would grant undocumented children access to medical services.
As it currently stands, undocumented immigrants who are in need of medical treatments have to rely on services offered in emergency rooms. The costs associated with seeking care this way can be astronomical, and they are certainly unaffordable for those whose incomes are usual just enough to cover basic needs. Improvements have been made and pregnancy-related services are available, but the medical needs of all others in this population — adults and children — have not been addressed, until now.
A budget has been proposed that would allocate funds to health care coverage for undocumented children in low-income families. The current plan calls for $40 million of state funds to get the process started and will likely cost tax payers an estimated $132 million a year. This is expected to pass without issue around mid-June. It is unknown if or when coverage will be expanded to include adults.
While this plan does not solve all the issues affecting California’s immigrant population, having access to medical care for undocumented children may be one less thing parents have to worry about until they can achieve legal status. As working through immigration can be a lengthy process, any changes to state policies and budget allocations — such as this — can make the wait easier to handle. Legal assistance is available to help undocumented immigrants achieve their immigration goals as quickly as possible.
Source: ABC News, “California on Cusp of Offering Young Immigrants Health Care”, Amy Taxin and Judy Lin, June 17, 2015