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The Undocumented and Health Care Reform

Federal healthcare reform has made an unprecedented effort to extend affordable healthcare coverage to millions of Americans. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) impressively aims to expand private insurance, Medicaid and Medicare, invest in preventive services and the medical workforce, protect patients against unfair insurance practices, and establish a transparent insurance market, known as the Insurance Exchange. While many Americans will benefit significantly from the new reform efforts, there still remain a percentage of those who will not, specifically the undocumented.

Under reform, undocumented immigrants will not be eligible to purchase insurance through federal or state Exchanges, will remain ineligible for public subsidies, or will not be held accountable under the individual mandate to be insured. This will affect the undocumented in California who represent one-fifth of the overall uninsured population in the state1 and whose regular source of care will likely remain with safety net providers. This paper aims to describe the undocumented population, dispel rumors and myths about their health care utilization, and provide policymakers with recommendations in light of health care reform.

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Undocumented and Health Reform Undocumented and Health Reform.pdf