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Medical News & Perspectives
June 19, 2013

Advocacy Groups Urge Congress to Ensure All Immigrant Children Have Health Care

JAMA. 2013;309(23):2427-2428. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.6441

Although passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010 promised to extend or guarantee health insurance for the vast majority of children in the United States, the law specifically excludes certain immigrant children. Some public health advocacy groups want the discrepancy rectified in the immigration reform legislation now being considered in Congress.

According to the Children's Health Fund, the nation's leading pediatric provider of mobile-based health care for homeless and low-income children and their families, noncitizen immigrant children will make up the largest single group of uninsured children after the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented in 2014. The fund said there are slightly more than 40 million immigrants living in the United States; of these, about 11 million, including at least 1 million children, are considered unauthorized immigrants who are ineligible for health care coverage.