A television advertising campaign was launched in Sacramento, Los Angeles and the Bay Area this week to include undocumented immigrants in California's coming health-care reform.
The 60-second ad is the first in a yearlong, multimillion-dollar campaign by the California Endowment, a statewide health-care foundation, to push for preventive care and a strong safety net for undocumented immigrants or other residents who cannot afford private health insurance.
The TV ad is running in Sacramento on six broadcast stations and four cable stations, said Daniel Zingale, California Endowment senior vice president.
The ad features young, undocumented immigrants who note that the purpose of Obamacare is to ensure that Americans of all income levels have access to health care.
"Doesn't it make more sense to keep us all healthy instead of treating us after we get sick?" one immigrant asks in the ad.
"Regardless of your view on immigration policy, those undocumented people are part of our economy and part of our state," Zingale said.
"Our future is connected to theirs and the health of the state, the prosperity of the state, depends on the health of the entire population of the state," he said.
About a million undocumented immigrants would not be eligible for subsidized services under Obamacare, Zingale said.
Zingale said the results of the November election - resulting in big wins for Obama and the Democratic Party - created a "window of opportunity" for reconsideration of rigid policies toward undocumented immigrants.
"I think it was an election where many people realized that even those of us with legal immigration status sometimes take it personally when other Californians are attacked or scapegoated," Zingale said.
"So I think there's a new atmosphere around these issues," he said.