Health Insurance and My Undocumented Husband

During the time that we first lived together in New York, (in ’99) on East 26th Street, my husband started to cough up blood.

Where to go for a doctor?  He was afraid to walk into a doctor’s office and fill out a new patient form.  Through a co-worker of mine, we got an emergency appointment with a doctor and we paid in cash, and my husband signed his name, nothing more.

He was diagnosed with an advanced case of H. Pylori, a stomach bacteria that, left unchecked can cause things like gastritis, ulcers, or even cancer.

He got better, but without that visit to the doctor’s office, I don’t know what would have happened to his health, to his life.

This New York Times editorial puts it out there pretty succinctly.  They use the term “illegal immigrants,” which  Latina Lista does a great job of explaining why it’s more than “just semantics.”

For me, the correct term to use is undocumented immigrant.  The end.

However, I do agree with what they are saying about being against citizenship verification on this issue.

When I lived with my husband in the US, specifically in Chicago, I had good health care benefits.  But we did not have good health care benefits. Because he simply never would be able to.

So hard-line Republicans, my question for today is:  What do you do about healthcare reform with people like me?  A US citizen legally married to an undocumented immigrant?

Because allow me to let you in on a secret, Mr. Wilson:  I was not/am not  the only US citizen in this situation.

During my tours in the US as a writer and performer, I’ve met so many women (because it is often women) who identify with my show, because they are living their own version of it.

These women are US-born and raised, English is their first language,  they have usually some level of formal education. They’ve experienced different forms of privilege around race, and class.

And they never grew up thinking how much their choice of who they love would put their life as they know it on the line.

If you are one of those women, if you are one of those people right now, reading this, know that you are not alone.

And if you don’t know us? Well then, you hard-line Republicans and others need to get ready.

Because one of us is singing out loud.


5 thoughts on “Health Insurance and My Undocumented Husband

  1. I am in a similar situation. I just got married… he is not a citizen… and I realized my new husband doesn’t have health care at all. I personally don’t like going to the doctor… but that’s another story. I really want to see how I can get him some kind of insurance so he can be ok and healthy, get a check up if he wants.


    1. Hi NM-While Obamacare has changed the lives of many, undocumented people were completely left behind and out of the discussion, which was extremely wrong. Please check out my resources page for information. Love, Giselle


  2. AHHH! There are so many things that is wrong with the fact that people say, I dont want “illegal immigrants” getting health care that our taxes pay for. Well guess what, in most cases their taxes are paying for it too and they never even get to see that money that gets taken out of their paycheck (those that use someone else’s ss #). Even if they are using $ that taxes pay for, for F sake where is the humanity in all of this? So what, these are not criminals, these are sick people or people that are dying and need help! I for one would feel a lot better about being a US citizen if I knew that my taxes were going to help people – people that need to go to the doctor or who have cancer or whose kids have cancer and will die if they dont get the help. I would like to ask someone that says this, “Would you really deny health care to an “illegal” child who has cancer? People make such blanket statements about “illegals” but these are people- listen to the stories, use their names! How much of our taxes go to “aid” to other countries anyways- millions and people are ok with “helping other countries” and never argue that “those hurricane victims or flood victims didnt pay taxes, why are they getting aid?” I for one, dont care what nationality you are, if you need medical care, you should be able to be able to get it in this day and age. That is a basic human right! There is no excuse with all the $$$ and technology that we have in the US to say ridiculous things like the health care reform will not be for illegal immigrants. What is wrong with people?


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