Undocumented, Uninsured And In Debt For Life

May. 16, 2014 / By

Editor’s Note:  California Senator Ricardo Lara’s (D- Huntington Park/Long Beach) Health For all Bill (SB 1005) – it would make all Californians, regardless of immigration status, eligible to purchase insurance – advanced out of the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday, April 30, and will go to the Senate Appropriations Committee before being moved for a vote.  Under the Affordable Care Act, undocumented immigrants are barred from receiving federal subsidies for their health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. In California alone, there are an estimated 1 million undocumented immigrants who lack health care.

Below is the story of an undocumented farm worker family in Salinas, the Toledanos, which now faces insurmountable medical debt due to being uninsured.

By JESÚS E. VALENZUELA-FÉLIX/Coachella Uninc

“I felt she was going to die”

How much does it cost to live? $200,000. That’s what Jorge Toledano discovered when he opened his mother’s hospital bill.

“My mother was having convulsions,” said Toledano. “We (still) don’t know exactly what happened.  My sister found her chocking in her sleep, and tried giving her mouth-to-mouth.  I knew it was bad, because she was twitching, her voice was gone, and she couldn’t even speak.  When I sat her up she vomited, and from there I called my grandmother and told her that my mother was in bad shape and we didn’t know what was wrong with her.  Then I called the ambulance.”

To read more, go HERE.

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Coachella Unincorporated

Coachella Unincorporated

Coachella Unincorporated is a Youth Media Startup in the East Coachella Valley, funded by the Building Healthy Communities Initiative of The California Endowment and operated by New America Media in San Francisco. The purpose of the project is to report on issues in the community that can bring about change. Coachella Unincorporated refers to the region youth journalists cover but also to the unincorporated communities of the Eastern Valley with the idea to “incorporate” the East Valley into the mainstream Coachella Valley mindset.