By Enrico Marcelli, Manuel Pastor, and Steven P. Wallace
While the goal of the Affordable Care Act is to eventually provide coverage to all Americans, one important group is explicitly excluded: undocumented immigrants.
Legislation proposed by State Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) would seek to address this issue by making Medi-Cal, the public insurance set up for low-income residents, available to the undocumented and developing a private insurance exchange option nearly identical to Covered California. This brief aimed to provide a factual basis for a consideration of both the Lara bill and other alternatives that may surface in the near future.
In this brief, the authors focused on the following questions:
- What stands in the way of inclusion of all Californians because of policy design?
- Who are the undocumented Californians left out of the reform?
- How does access to medical insurance impact undocumented Californians and the state?
- What does past experience suggest is the best way to reach this population?
- Is it politically feasible for California to expand coverage for all?
This research brief is based on a longer literature synthesis that CSII expects to release in the fall of 2014. Please visit us again soon for access to the full report.