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Capitol Health Call
September 12, 2007

Proving Citizenship Difficult

JAMA. 2007;298(10):1153. doi:10.1001/jama.298.10.1153-b

A provision of a law enacted in February 2006 that was intended to save taxpayer money and reduce the number of illegal immigrants fraudulently receiving health care through Medicaid has instead led to increased costs and declines in enrollment by eligible citizens, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and a House committee's majority staff concluded.

The provision, which went into effect in July 1, 2006, requires Medicaid recipients to provide more stringent documentation of citizenship, such as appearing at government offices with original documents like a birth certificate or driving license, rather than mailing photocopies of such items.