Assembly Member Santiago and Local Leaders Encourage Undocumented Adults to Enroll in Medi-Cal Today!

For immediate release:

(Los Angeles, CA) – Today, Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D- Los Angeles),Los Angeles City Councilmember Curren Price, Los Angeles City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and the Office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis in partnership with Clinica Romero, hosted a press conference to celebrate the historic expansion of Medi-Cal to low-income undocumented immigrants 50 and older and encourage newly eligible people to enroll.

Link to Press Conference Video Here

Press Conference

“If there’s one thing COVID-19 has taught us, it’s the importance of having access to basic healthcare,” said Assembly Member Miguel Santiago. “COVID-19 hit low-income, people of color the hardest, particularly undocumented immigrants, due to their lack of access to healthcare services. Because of California’s historic investment in expanding Medi-Cal to low-income undocumented adults 50 and older, today there are hundreds of thousands of people eligible for health coverage that were previously uninsured. I am proud to have been a part of this historic fight to expand healthcare to our undocumented neighbors.”

"No one should ever have to suffer from the stresses of not being able to see a physician when health risks are knocking at their door," said Councilmember Curren Price. "Allowing our undocumented adults 50 and older to sign up for coverage gets us one step closer to universal health care for all and it’s an ideal we hope gets replicated across the country. This historic expansion of Medi-Cal simply put, will save the lives of real people because illnesses know no race, ethnicity, income and it definitely doesn’t care whether you’re undocumented. This action tells our immigrant communities that we see them, hear them and value their lives."

“Starting today, nearly 200,000 Californians will no longer have to choose between their health and keeping a roof over their heads or food on the table," said Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell. "I commend our state leaders for taking decisive action to expand Medi-Cal coverage to low-wage, undocumented older adults and filling this critical gap in California's safety net."

“Throughout my years in public service, one of my primary driving forces has been ensuring everyone – regardless of where they live, how much they make, or their documentation status – has access to comprehensive, quality healthcare,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor HildaSolis. “That’s why I helped pass the Affordable Care Act when I served in the Obama Administration and got to work on the implementation and expansion of Medicaid since joining the Board of Supervisors. I am thrilled to see the state take another significant step forward toward comprehensive healthcare coverage by expanding full-scope Medi-Cal to all eligible adults ages 50 and above, regardless of documentation status, and here at the County, we are prepared to do our part. That’s why I passed a motion two weeks ago to bolster Medi-Cal enrollment for newly eligible residents, which helps to ensure that the County is doing everything possible to conduct outreach, education, and enrollment. I thank Assemblymember Santiago and Clinica Romero for hosting today’s call to action and will work to make sure that our most vulnerable take advantage of this vital opportunity.”

“Clinica Romero believes that healthcare is a human right,” said Carlos Vaquerano, Clinica Romero’s CEO. “We celebrate the new expansion of Medi-Cal coverage for undocumented seniors 50 years and older, which impacts more than 244,000 individuals who reside across California, and brings our state, one step closer to health coverage for all regardless of immigration status. Having full scope Medi-Cal means that our undocumented population, some of the hardest community members from the pandemic will now have the full range of benefits available to Medi-Cal beneficiaries.”

Last year, the State Legislature passed, and the Governor signed, AB 133 to expand Medi-Cal to low-income undocumented adults 50 years and older. This historic expansion will allow roughly 200,000 newly eligible Californians to enroll in Medi-Cal. 

Assembly Member Miguel Santiago is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Governmental Organization and Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Los Angeles County Homelessness. He also sits on the Assembly Committees on Public Safety, Health, Higher Education and Utilities and Energy. He represents the 53rd District composed of the cities of Los Angeles, Huntington Park, and Vernon.