Although the 2010 Affordable Care Act expanded health care access to millions of Americans, undocumented immigrants are still prohibited from participating in federal insurance programs. More than a million undocumented immigrants currently live in Los Angeles yet healthcare remains elusive for many of our most vulnerable neighbors.
In order to help meet the needs of this community, “My Health LA” was created to provide free primary care services to uninsured county residents who fell below 138% of the poverty level. Unfortunately, stigmatization, fear of deportation and harsh government rhetoric toward the immigrant community (see “public charge” rule) have disparaged thousands of qualified people from taking advantage of this progressive program and, sadly, in 2019 only about a third of eligible participants had enrolled.
Looking ahead, IFWF remains optimistic that a new age of peace, justice, acceptance and unity will help to enhance the health and wellbeing of all our community members by expanding access to and participation in high quality but affordable health care for everyone who calls LA “home”.
Kristen R. Motley, MMS, PA-C