By Paulina Rojas
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif., Weeping as she narrated her story, Lupé (not her real name) an undocumented immigrant living in the Inland Empire, said she began feeling helpless and scared when her young son began having convulsions a few years ago. Like her, he had no health insurance.
Luckily for her, the nearby SAC Health System (SACHS), a federally qualified health clinic that does not turn uninsured patients away, enrolled the boy as a patient. The medications the clinic provided kept the boy’s convulsions under check.
Last May, when California launched its Health for All Kids program, SACHS helped enroll Lupé’s son in full-scope Medi-Cal, California’s name for the government program for poor people known as Medicaid in the rest of the nation.
Designed to provide health insurance for undocumented children who were left out of the Affordable Care Act because of their immigration status, the Health for All Kids is largely (71 percent) funded by the state, with the rest paid out of federal funds for emergency coverage.
Lupé’s son is among an estimated 250,000 children in California who have so far benefited from the program, said Dr. Jason Lohr, a family medicine practitioner at SACHS.
Lohr was a panelist at a February 7 round table ethnic media briefing here co-sponsored by New America Media and SACHS. Some 51 stakeholders, advocacy groups and media participated.