The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was pivotal in expanding access to health care for millions of Americans — and Californians. However, the ACA explicitly excluded undocumented immigrants from federally funded health care programs such as Medi-Cal. In 2014, the Health4All Coalition was formed by California Immigrant Policy Center and Health Access California to advocate for removing these exclusions based on immigration status. The advocacy of these organizations, legislators, philanthropy and countless leaders across the state has resulted in significant wins including expanding health care to all children, young adults, and older undocumented Californians.
- 2016: California invested in providing full-scope Medi-Cal to all low-income children, regardless of their immigration status, resulting in the successful enrollment of over 250,000 undocumented children in life-saving healthcare.
- 2019: Governor Gavin Newsom signed a state budget plan that funded a further expansion of Medi-Cal to include low-income undocumented young adults ages 19-25, which took effect on January 1, 2020.
- 2021: Governor Newsom and state legislature announced a new advancement toward health equity in California: all income-eligible adults ages 50 and above are set to have access to Medi-Cal.
California’s Health4All policies are transforming health care access in California and serving as a model for the nation to follow.