Obamacare will help mentally ill refugees say California immigrant health advocates

Here are some snips from the story at New America Media (hat tip: Joanne):

….a public health care worker [Mohamed] who helps refugees from African and Middle-Eastern countries says once Obamacare is launched she will no longer have to witness her clients getting bumped off health care benefits eight months after they arrive in the United States, even as they are still trying to navigate the new culture.  [She is referring to the initial health care that comes with each refugee, thanks to the US taxpayer—ed]


The ACA [Affordable Care Act] will require insurers to treat psychiatric illness like any other. It will also remove many of the obstacles to fair treatment, Muñoz said.

Mohamed [Amina Sheik Mohamed], program director at UCSD’s Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, and active in the African and Middle-Eastern refugee communities, said that if refugees can now enroll in Medi-Cal because of its expansion, they need no longer face the short-term health care their refugee status now limits them to.

That aside, Obamacare will allow refugees to access the mental health services they so acutely need, she said.

“Refugees come to the United States with a lot of anxiety and stress,” she pointed out. “They need mental health care.”

Yes they do!  See our ‘health issues’ category (168 previous posts!) for more on refugee mental illness.  For new readers, to learn what other benefits refugees receive in addition to health care, see our Fact Sheet by clicking here.

The photo is from this March 2013 story about Mohamed at KPBS.

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