Lily, a 7-year-old Mexican national, couldn't get care in her country. Born with a tumor on her face, surgeons wouldn't operate because it wasn't cancerous, her mother, Katrina said through a translator.
She wouldn’t provide her last name for fear of deportation.
When the family began struggling financially, they fled Mexico for California and the promise of affordable healthcare.
When they arrived, Katrina was able to sign Lily up for Medi-Cal through SB 75, a California law that guarantees children younger than 19 medical care regardless of immigration status. Roughly 5,200 people were signed up under the program in Kern County as of March 2017, according to the state Department of Health Care Services.
After Lily got Medi-Cal, she was able to get her operation, Katrina said through tears Friday at a forum in Bakersfield on the impacts repealing the Affordable Care Act could have on ethnic communities throughout the region.
Lily is just one of the thousands of immigrants throughout Kern County in fear of what options will be left for them if a Republican healthcare proposal that strips funding from Medi-Cal would pass. Legislation was introduced last month, but withdrawn at the last minute because of a lack of votes.
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