Open Letter To Senator Ricardo Lara

The Honorable Senator Lara,
California State Senate 
State Capitol, Room 5050 
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: SB 4 2016 Healthcare coverage: Immigration Status

Dear Senator Lara:

As a member of the immigrant community in America, a previous resident of the State of California (having lived in the Los Angeles zip code 90033), and a student of The Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas, I write to show my support for your initiative towards State Senate Bill 4 2016 Healthcare coverage: immigration status.

I applaud your efforts to get this on the way speedily. I see this bill as the gateway for other states and eventually the US Healthcare system to stop denying humans access to affordable preventive care. It is a blessing that anyone regardless of origin will be cared for in the emergency room in an emergent situation, however the preventive measures needed to avoid such urgent and costly care need also to be addressed.

With knowledge that this bill was passed with modifications making it specific for children under the age of 19, I applaud your effort on initiating the conversations for all immigrants, not just the children. I understand the difficulty that politics presents, but my call to action for you and your office is to push further for the amendment of this bill to include all immigrants, nut just children.

I support the rationale that an exchange plan just for undocumented immigrants could be a viable option in a bipolar (yes I mean bipolar) political system in America today. An exchange plan where only undocumented immigrants can buy into, free from unfair practices, will help avoid the notion that unhealthy undocumented immigrants will inadvertently increase the cost of care for Citizens and Legal Residents; in essence the sad but unfortunate assumption of a tainted pot will be avoided. This exclusive exchange plan could end up being costly for the participants if there aren’t enough participants in the plan, this could be looked at by the far right as the cost for being undocumented, however having access to care will not be denied.

As a public health advocate with a Masters in Public Health and an MBA, in addition to being a PhD Student in Health Studies studying population health, I’ve learnt the importance of access to healthcare through insurance in the American Healthcare System for cost effective purposes. The cost of not insuring undocumented immigrants in the long-run can certainly outweigh the cost of creating an exchange plan they may participate in.

Thank you for your attention to this important public health issue and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Best wishes,

L.B