According to a UC Berkeley Study, over 1 million undocumented Californians will remain uninsured under healthcare reform. Due to their immigration status, they are ineligible for health programs like Medi-Cal, or Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace. This exclusion has detrimental consequences to our friends, neighbors, co-workers, and classmates who are left without care. Together, we must ensure affordable and accessible healthcare for all Californians.
2. 1.) Immigrants are not invincible
“Immigrants are strong, brave, and resilient people, but they are not invincible. That’s why we need #Health4All #HealthcareisARight” — Steve Augusto.
3. 2.) Health care is a right, not a privilege
“As a resident of Alameda county, I recently applied for HealthPAC [achealthcare.org]. Now, I don’t have to worry about the financial burden of visiting a doctor when I feel sick or get injured. Whether documented or undocumented, everyone deserves access to affordable and quality health care.” — Ju Hong.
4. 3.) California is more productive when everyone is healthy
“Imagine this: You are an undocumented, uninsured low-wage laborer and you just got injured on the job. What would you do? (More like, what can you do?). The high cost and limited access to health care often leave the worker without proper medical attention while suffering from exploitative labor practices such as wage theft and refusal to compensate for medical expenses by the employer. Undocumented workers, then, have to endure the consequences from both malfunctioning systems of worker protection and healthcare.
The benefit of #Health4All goes beyond humane support to create a healthier and more equal California.” — Amy Lin.
5. 4.) Prevention is the key
“#Health4All will allow all people to have access to the health care all people need to maintain health, prevent disease, and contribute their best to their families, communities, and our California home.” — Belsai Castellon.
6. 5.) Pursuing your dreams shouldn’t be so scary
When undocumented and uninsured, you are more hesitant to take risks and accept opportunities that come your way in order to achieve your dreams. Daily activities—like driving to school or going to work—become life-threatening decisions. Nobody should have to be so threatened in the journeys to become who they want to be, like a doctor, ironically.
Pre-Health Dreamers, a network of undocumented, aspiring health professionals, has worked with The California Endowment to uplift the unique voices of immigrant youth and increase visibility around the exclusion from health coverage for California immigrants, through billboards, TV spots, and radio ads. To learn more or to find out how you can help spread the word, visit www.PHDreamers.org/health4all and www.calendow.org/health4all.
Photographed models include members of ASPIRE [www.facebook.com/aspiredreamers], and other organizations.