3325.0 California's Health Care for Immigrants

Monday, October 27, 2008: 2:30 PM
Many US industries are heavily reliant on immigrant labor, including the labor of undocumented workers. In California for example, 80% of agricultural workers are Mexican immigrant men. Immigrant workers are also essential for US industries like construction, apparel, meat-packing, and hotels & restaurants. Roughly a quarter of immigrants in the US are undocumented and over half of the undocumented immigrants are from Mexico. The health insurance status of Mexican immigrants is extremely low. In 2000 for example, over half of Mexican immigrants 18-64 years of age were uninsured for part or all of the year. As health insurance reform is debated in the US, health care health and health insurance for immigrant workers needs special attention. Health care reform should better understand the role of those who currently provide health care for this population, both in the US and in their home countries. It should fairly account for their contributions. Since many immigrant workers and their families are undocumented, reform must also account for that situation. This session will discuss the role of US and home country health care for immigrants and how health care reform can address the special health access problems facing undocumented workers.
Session Objectives: Better understand how Community Health Centers provide health care to immigrants. Better understand how agreements with home-country governments, health education for immigrants, and training of health care workers to treat immigrants can meet health care needs of immigrants in the US. Better understand how health insurance reform could adequately finance health care for immigrants.

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Organized by: Health Equity and Public Hospitals Caucus
Endorsed by: Latino Caucus, Socialist Caucus