CSII Publications

Why Excluding Undocumented Californians from the Affordable Care Act Hurts All of Us

By Enrico Marcelli, Manuel Pastor, and Steven P. Wallace

May 2014

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. 

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News about this report

"Viewpoints: Health care coverage for undocumented immigrants"

By Enrico Marcelli, Manuel Pastor and Steven P. Wallace
Special to The Sacramento Bee 
May 17, 2014


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