The Affordable Care Act from an Immigrant’s Perspective

This panel will reflect on year one of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and discuss what to expect in year two for eligible immigrant families. This panel will explore what navigator groups have done to prepare for the second open enrollment period and for the upcoming tax filing season. The panel will also discuss unresolved issues from the first open enrollment period, and what advocates are doing to improve access to in the future. Speakers:

  • Sonal Ambegaokar, NHeLP – LA, Senior Attorney -- Sonal Ambegaokar is a Senior Attorney in NHeLP’s Los Angeles office, where her work focuses on access to affordable health care for low-income consumers. She conducts policy analysis and advocacy at the federal and state levels and provides technical assistance and trainings to ensure implementation of the Affordable Care Act benefits everyone.
  • Luvia Quinones, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, Health Policy Director -- Luvia Quinones serves as the Health Policy Director at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR). In this role, Luvia oversees the In Person Counselor Program, the Immigrant Health Care Access Initiative and in collaboration with ICIRR's members develops ICIRR's health policy agenda with a special focus in access to health care and on health care reform. Luvia has a Master in Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Chicago and a BA in International Studies from DePaul University.
  • Doreena Wang, Asian Americans Advancing Health Justice (Los Angeles), Project Director: Health Access Project -- Doreena Wong is the Project Director for Advancing Justice - LA’s Health Access Project, which works to protect and promote access to health care programs for vulnerable populations, including immigrants and limited-English proficient individuals, and monitors health care reform implementation issues that affect Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Native Hawaiians. Prior to Advancing Justice - LA, Wong spent 11 years as a Senior Staff Attorney at the National Health Law Program (NHeLP), a national public interest law firm, where she specialized in health care issues affecting immigrants and limited English speakers. Wong is also a well-known social justice advocate who has helped to found several Asian American lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights group, including API Equality-LA, which she currently co-chairs. Wong graduated from New York University School of Law.
  • Angel Padilla, National Immigration Law Center, Health Policy Analyst -- Angel Padilla leads NILC’s federal immigrant health policy agenda. Prior to joining NILC in February 2014, he was an immigration policy consultant at National Council of La Raza. Before that, he was a legislative assistant for Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL), advising on issues related to health care and the Affordable Care Act, among others. Mr. Padilla holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree from Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
  • Sonya Schwartz, Georgetown University Center For Children and Families, Research Fellow -- Sonya Schwartz joined the Center for Children and Families in July of 2013 to work with advocates at the state level to improve access to health coverage for low-income children and families. At CCF, she also monitors and analyzes policies related to health reform implementation, immigrant families' access to coverage, Medicaid, CHIP, health insurance marketplaces, the basic health programs and more. Sonya has worked to expand access to health care and nutrition benefits for low-income populations such as immigrants and people living with HIV and AIDS for more than 15 years, and helped pass the District of Columbia's pioneering language access law in 2004. She holds a JD from the UCLA School of Law Program in public interest law and policy, and a BA in political science and Italian from Middlebury College.