California counties add health care for immigrant adults
California’s Contra Costa County, east of San Francisco, voted Tuesday to restore primary health care services to undocumented adults living in the county.
Contra Costa County joins 46 other California counties that have agreed to provide non-emergency care to immigrants who entered the country illegally.
“Providing health care coverage to all is not only about the human morality issue that we should address, but also from a cost-effective point of view … this is absolutely the right thing,” said Jane Garcia, CEO of La Clínica de la Raza, which serves 25,000 patients in Contra Costa, many of them low-income Latinos.
Adult immigrants who are undocumented are not able to participate state health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, but can get emergency care in hospitals.
The program is not full scope insurance, but will provide preventive care. Health care providers and other supporters say that increasing access to preventive services will cut down visits to the emergency room and save the county money in the long run.
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