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“I don’t go to the doctor when I’m sick — it’s too expensive,” she said, adding that worries about her weight and troubling symptoms that hint of diabetes will also have to wait until she can afford to make an appointment.

Though she is a sales worker at an insurance agency in Highlandtown, an East Baltimore neighborhood that has seen an influx of Hispanic immigrants in recent years, Ramirez, 23, has no health insurance.

Her predicament is shared by thousands of Hispanic immigrants in East Baltimore, and millions nationally, who cannot afford regular medical services and are uninsured because they lack the benefits attached to legal U.S. residency and citizenship.

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