WAISN Celebrates Washington Becoming First State to Expand Health Insurance to Undocumented Immigrants

“Health care access is a human right, and immigration status should never be a barrier.”

Seattle, WA –In response to Washington State’s passage of Section 1332 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), expanding health insurance access to undocumented immigrants in Washington State, Catalina Velasquez, Deputy Director at Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) issued the following statement:

“Today we are celebrating Washington’s leadership in becoming the first U.S. state to expand affordable health care access to undocumented communities. Health care access is a human right, and immigration status should never be a barrier towards attaining the care a person needs. 

“WAISN has fought tirelessly to expand healthcare access to immigrants as part of our ongoing Health Equity for Immigrants Campaign alongside our partners Northwest Health Law Advocates, ACLU of Washington, and members of our health equity coalition.The approval of this waiver is an amazing milestone and the result of our consistent efforts and people power. Without our coalition, vision, and community support, we would not be here. 

“We celebrate this achievement knowing that it is a step on the path towards equitable access to affordable health care for all. We believe health care and the right to a living wage are non-negotiable rights.” 

Looking ahead, WAISN will continue the fight in the 2023 legislative session to ensure equal access to social safety nets through a codified permanent health care program for all by 2024. On February 16, WAISN will lead community members to Olympia for the annual Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Day to meet with legislators regarding a permanent health care program and unemployment insurance for undocumented workers.

WAISN is the largest immigrant-led organization in Washington State, a grassroots coalition of over 400 immigrant and refugee rights organizations. Distributed across 27 counties, WAISN exists to provide support, capacity, and resources to immigrant communities, build power, and act as a united immigrant justice voice statewide.

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