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California Counties Extend Health Care to Immigrants

California Counties Extend Health Care to Immigrants

An article published in late June on CBSSacramento discusses 35 California counties that have agreed to basic health care services to those who are in the United States illegally. This polarizing decision was made by the County Medical Services Program. This program pools together the resources of sparsely populated counties to ensure health services to poor individuals. If the program begins next year as planned, thousands of people could enroll.

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor stated that this was “the right thing to do” because we should not ignore our underclass. This low-cost health care program will help prevent and reduce communicable diseases, and reduce the high cost of individuals using the emergency room for general care. Many illegal immigrants wait until they are sick enough for the emergency room, rather than seeking preventative care. In fact, illegal immigrants now currently make up the largest group of uninsured individuals in California. The Covered California state health exchange and the Affordable Care Act cannot cover them or help pay for their health care.

The article continues to discuss that, out of 58 counties, 47 in California now offer low-cost health care to anyone eligible, no matter immigration status. During the 2009 recession, the article recognizes that many of these counties had denied illegal immigrants services. However, with this new vote from the County Medical Services Program, those who cannot get services elsewhere will be able to visit a doctor and get up to $1,000 in prescription drugs.

Combined with other changes discussed in the article, the total cost to the taxpayers, over time, could cost $132 million annually.

While this doesn’t directly affect Washington state residents, it is an issue to watch. Feel free to discuss this, or any, news article with us at Vancouver Home Health Care Agency.

At Vancouver Home Health Care Agency, Caring and Compassion is our business.

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