The Health Care Battle May Soon Be Over: Next Up? Immigration.

By Seth Hoy, Immigration Impact.

As the Washington Post editorial and numerous Immigration Policy Center fact sheets point out, distributing health care costs across a broader pool of people actually lowers the overall costs for everyone.

As Congress continues to broker the specifics of health care legislation, some reports cite key Democrats as allegedly holding out their support of the bill contingent on a solid White House promise that a comprehensive immigration reform bill will be addressed this year — a reform bill that would provide health care coverage options to all immigrants, including undocumented immigrants on an earned path to citizenship.

According to a recent Talking Points Memo article, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) — which threatened to block the health care bill back in November if restrictive language prohibiting illegal immigrants from accessing the public health insurance exchange wasn’t changed — is now allegedly willing to pledge their support as long as they have President Obama’s promise that a forthcoming immigration bill will include health care coverage for undocumented immigrants. CHC recently disputed this claim, but held that it still “opposes provisions in the Senate health care bill that would negatively impact immigrants.”

Currently, the House health care bill allows undocumented immigrants to purchase insurance on the exchange with their own money. The Senate bill, however, does not. It’s also important to note the neither the House nor the Senate health care bill subsidizes insurance for undocumented immigrants.  Read more…

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