The debate over health care is causing anxiety among our most vulnerable neighbors. At the Fresno Center for New Americans we help our mostly Southeast Asian clients receive services. Since the election, clients have been worried that accessing the health care services will affect their immigration status. They are also worried they will lose the benefits they received under the Affordable Care Act.
The ACA allowed thousands of seniors and college students to access health care coverage. In Fresno County, the uninsured rate dropped 45 percent, according to a study by Fresno State.
Access to health care has been life-changing to residents who weren’t able to receive routine care. People would wait to seek care until they were very sick. Having access to regular checks-ups means fewer patients with life-threatening illnesses visit emergency rooms.
The ACA is a life saver for the elderly. Many clients have post-traumatic stress disorder from the Vietnam War. Now lonely or depressed elders access services with in their own language and connect with others in their community.
Unfortunately, no one knows how long ACA benefits will exist. We know that the plan to replace it will be devastating to our community.
Nu Vang, Fresno