OCIYU Joins Die-In in State Capital in Support of Comprehensive Health For All Legislation

For Immediate Release // Excuse Cross-Posting

Contact:

Hairo Cortes, 714.737.1069, hairo@ociyu.org

Rosemary Gomez, 559.408.9618, rosemary@ociyu.org

Today OCIYU sent a team to Sacramento to participate in an action in support of comprehensive Health for All legislation thatcovers all undocumented immigrants in the state. Press release below has more details. As usual we are available for comment.Members of the Orange County Immigrant Youth United (OCIYU) participated in a die-in protest in Sacramento to highlight the importance of enacting a strong and comprehensive Health for All Act (SB4), which would provide access to healthcare to the state’s undocumented immigrants by eliminating immigration status as a disqualifying factor for Medi-Cal and allowing them to purchase unsubsidized private insurance through Covered California.

The die-in organized by the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance (CIYJA) follows the passage of SB4 in the Senate Health Committee, and precedes the bill’s vote in the Senate Appropriations Committee where it died last year.Although the Health for All Act is expected to reduce healthcare costs in the long run by preventing treatable diseases from turning into more fatal and expensive health conditions, and by reducing the emergency care visits among the state’s undocumented population, a vote in the Appropriations Committee remains one of the biggest hurdles.

Faby Jacome, a resident of Silverado and OCIYU member, said: “Legislators and state officials are aware of how much financial sense SB4 makes. We engaged in this action to demonstrate that what is at stake here is more than just savings in healthcare costs–what is at stake are people’s lives.”Despite the cost of SB4 being significantly reduced from the 2014 version, legislators have given signals that they may be inclined to cut costs further by restricting Medi-Cal eligibility and reducing the number of potential undocumented beneficiaries under SB4.

Luis Ojeda, CIYJA’s Statewide Coordinator, said: “Our community members make financial contributions to the state to the tune of $2.2 Billion in taxes a year, and yet are unable to benefit from the health services they help fund. We strongly urge the Appropriations Committee to advance a Health for All Act that covers all undocumented immigrants, and we urge Governor Brown to recognize it for the smart, humane investment it is and sign it into law.”

OCIYU is an undocumented immigrant youth-led organization that advocates for the rights of undocumented immigrants to live lives free from persecution and exploitation.

###