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New Children’s Health Legislation Would Not Allow Any Undocumented Immigrants to Enroll in SCHIP or Medicaid

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The Administration claims, in part, that the bill “continues to allow SCHIP to cover ineligible individuals,” namely undocumented immigrants. Some members of Congress and the Heritage Foundation have made similar charges. This claim is false. The second bill contains significant changes that close the door on the possibility that undocumented immigrants could be found eligible for Medicaid or SCHIP. It would require clear proof that all children, parents, and pregnant women applying for Medicaid and SCHIP who declare that they are U.S. citizens are indeed citizens: either the state would check the applicant’s Social Security record to see that it contains a Social Security Administration-verified indicator of U.S. citizenship, or the applicant would have to provide the state with a document such as a birth certificate. To ignore this fact and incorrectly claim that undocumented immigrants would receive coverage under the bill is not valid justification for vetoing the extension of health coverage to nearly 4 million uninsured children.


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