Immigrant Family Under federal law, undocumented people are generally not eligible for Medicare, non-emergency Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act's health insurance marketplace. (Photo: Shutterstock)

As a nurse manager for one of Chicago's busiest safety-net hospitals, Raquel Prendkowski has witnessed COVID-19's devastating toll on many of the city's most vulnerable residents — including people who lack health insurance because of their immigration status. Some come in so sick they go right to intensive care. Some don't survive.

"We're in a bad dream all the time," she said during a recent day treating coronavirus patients at Mount Sinai Hospital, which was founded in the early 20th century to care for the city's poorest immigrants. "I can't wait to wake up from this."

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