Dems Reject 5 Year Wait for Immigrant Health Care– La Raza Agrees

Democrats on Thursday rejected legislation that would require immigrants to wait five years before they were covered under the nationalized program.
The Hill Blog reported:

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee defeated a Republican amendment to a healthcare bill that would require legal immigrants to wait five years before accessing federal health benefits.

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) proposed the amendment, arguing that instituting such a limit would discourage people from coming to the United States to access government programs.

But Democrats argued that a five-year waiting period would be unfair to immigrants legally residing in the United States and paying taxes. Moreover, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) argued, it would run counter to the bill’s requirement that nearly everyone obtain health insurance or face a financial penalty. “This amendment sets up a Catch 22 for legal immigrants,” Menendez said.

Meanwhile… The National Council of La Raza said that health care reform should include “everyone,” and this means illegal immigrants too.

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