National Immigration Law Center
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Our mission is to defend & advance the rights & opportunities of low-income immigrants and their family members.

Health Care Reform Toolkit



Policy Priorities for Immigrant Inclusion in Health Care Reform

  1. Eliminate the arbitrary five-year waiting period that prevents many legal immigrants from participating in Medicaid and other government health programs. States should be required to provide Medicaid to legal immigrants on the same basis as citizens. The American public opposes waiting periods for health care for legal immigrants.

  2. Provide access to affordable health insurance to all children, regardless of immigration status.

  3. Workers should be able to purchase affordable health insurance for themselves and their family members, whether insurance is offered by their employer or through an exchange.

  4. Citizens and legal immigrants should be able to purchase affordable health insurance for their dependents. Families should be able to enroll in the same health plan, with the same network of doctors and benefit package. This approach helps simplify enrollment and access to care for the family.

  5. The health care safety net must be preserved and strengthened. Not everyone in America will have health insurance even after health reform. Therefore, hospitals and clinics need sufficient funds to cover the cost of providing health care to uninsured citizens and immigrants, especially in urban and rural areas.

  6. No burdensome waiting periods should be imposed on individuals wanting to purchase affordable health insurance through the Exchange. Waiting periods create new barriers to affordable, quality health care, and undermine health reform.