Roughly 45 million immigrants live in the United States today, a fourfold increase since the 1960s.
Immigrants face unique challenges obtaining health care services. Some of the challenges are caused by explicit policies designed to limit or exclude immigrants from programs and benefits available to people born in the US. Other barriers relate to household income or the greater likelihood of having limited English proficiency.
The health of immigrants in the United States is the topic of today’s A Health Podyssey.
Arturo Vargas Bustamante is a professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and faculty director of research at the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative. For the July issue of Health Affairs – focused exclusively on borders, immigrants and health – Bustamante and coauthors published a paper describing a range of health policy issues raised by the shifting demography of US immigrants.
They explored health insurance, health status, and access to care over the past two decades across the immigration and citizenship continuum. They found that inequities between immigrants and US-born residents increased after The Great Recession and began to decline after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Listen to Health Affairs Editor-in-Chief Alan Weil interview UCLA’s Arturo Vargas Bustamante about the health of immigrants in the US today and how the shifting demographics of the US are affecting health policies.