The Fight for Undocumented Health Rights in the U.S.
When the Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) passed in 2010, it specifically excluded undocumented immigrants. The law did not even allow undocumented people to purchase ACA health insurance coverage with their own money. Undocumented people in the US are also excluded from Medicare and most Medicaid programs. However, the ACA exclusion led to a surge of activism on behalf of undocumented people's access to health care. This paper examines state-level movements for immigrant health rights since 2010, focusing especially on California and Illinois. By 2023, these two states had passed significant health coverage expansions that did not discriminate based on citizenship status. I seek to understand the organizing strategies of immigrant and Latinx rights groups in these campaigns, and how health coverage demands shape broader struggles to transform the US health care and immigration systems.
Respondent: Xóchitl Bada, University of Illinois Chicago
About the Borderlands and Latino/a Studies Seminar
This seminar provides a forum for works-in-progress that explore topics in Latino/a and Borderlands studies.
The seminar’s coordinators are María Eugenia López-García (University of Illinois at Chicago), Ivón Padilla-Rodríguez (University of Illinois at Chicago), and Emiliano Aguilar (University of Notre Dame).
The seminar’s co-sponsors are Indiana University’s Latino Studies Program, Northwestern University’s Program in Latina and Latino Studies, The Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame, the Center for Latino Research at DePaul University, the Katz Center for Mexican Studies at the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago Latin American and Latino Studies Program.