SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

There are currently more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States; the majority of them are of Hispanic origin. This article shows that Hispanic immigrants in the Greater Richmond, Virginia, area rely heavily on free clinics for basic health care services. Free clinics do not receive any public funding and thus face reduced government regulation. As a result, these clinics typically present fewer barriers to undocumented immigrants seeking care. Although free clinics function outside the mainstream of government funding for health care services, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010 is so broad and far-reaching in its scope and potential application that free clinics cannot escape its grasp once the new law is fully implemented. Because the ACA does not provide insurance coverage to undocumented immigrants, free clinics will remain their primary sources of care and treatment. Consequently, those responsible for implementing the ACA should consider the impact on free clinics.