Never Having to Choose between Rent and Health

“It was really hard to see your mother right in front you in pain and not being able to do anything about it.”

Beatrice was only seven years old when her mother’s untreated diabetes left her in a coma. Being undocumented and low-income limited the access to health care that she and her family needed the most. “Not being able to afford a doctor is what has kept my family and me away from taking care of our health.”

For Beatrice and her family, being undocumented meant not going to the doctor, even in the face of a life-threatening emergency. “Five hundred dollars earned to pay the rent would have had to pay a medical bill.” Her family paid the rent.

After her mother was released from the hospital, her illness persisted. “We paid for some medication but we couldn’t afford to keep it going… I would lie down with her, and every 15 minutes into her sleep, she would wake up because she would experience a shortness of breath.”

Since Beatrice became a DACA (Deffered Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipient, her access to health care improved. “Since I obtained DACA, it helped me to access affordable health care services.” She expressed how happy and comfortable she feels being able to make use of HealthPAC (Health Program of Alameda County), and now she visits her physician regularly.

“If I had the opportunity to improve health care in California, I would make it accessible and affordable to all low-income and immigrant families who are the most in need. Because when Californians are healthy, California can move on as a healthy state. But if we forget the ones who are sick, California remains sick. “

(Read more about the recent DACA/DAPA Supreme Court 4-4 tie)