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Immigration reform is a hot topic on Capitol Hill – and Congress should seize the moment to extend health coverage to every child in America. That’s the conclusion of Children’s Health Fund’s report, “Why Immigrant Children Must Have Access to Health Care – and How to Get There.”
Most health programs exclude unauthorized immigrants. And even those who come to the U.S. legally often face barriers to care, such as five-year residency requirements. Removing those barriers isn’t just the ethical thing to do – it makes sense for our country, the report finds. When children get their health problems treated earlier, they avoid more serious illnesses – and the severe financial toll those illnesses can take on our economy. Healthy kids also do better in school and have a greater chance of reaching their full potential as adults and productive citizens.
Congress is considering amendments to remove some of these barriers to care. Unless it acts, nearly 900,000 non-citizen children will lack access to health care in 2014 – even after the Affordable Care Act takes effect. Read the report to learn more, and visit our Advocacy Action Center to contact lawmakers!