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Utah Senate Proposal Would End Health Coverage for New Immigrant Kids

Utah Senate Proposal Would End Health Coverage for New Immigrant Kids
(The Salt Lake Tribune)

By    |   Friday, 29 December 2017 11:50 AM

A Utah lawmaker wants new legal immigrants to wait five years before being eligible for Medicaid or child health insurance — a proposal that would end coverage for hundreds of kids in the Beehive State.

Critics say the legislation proposed by Allen Christensen is a cruel slap at immigrants legally in the United States, while the Republican state senator insists it's a question of "fairness."

"It's a philosophical thing. Do we welcome immigrants and say the minute you get here you can have Medicaid when a lot of our people who are already here don't? It's kind of a fairness issue," Christensen told The Salt Lake Tribune.

"I am trying to hold down on the Medicaid enrollment, the welfare enrollment, the food stamp enrollment — all of the entitlement programs — because I don't believe they have a place in our society."

But Lincoln Nehring, president of the nonprofit Voices for Utah Children, told the Tribune that Christensen is "making a moral choice that legal immigrant children are not as deserving of health-care coverage as citizens' children. As an organization that cares about kids, we strongly disagree with that."

Under Christensen's proposal, new legal immigrants wait five years before they could qualify for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a move that would strip CHIP coverage from 475 legal-immigrant kids who recently qualified for it.

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A Utah lawmaker wants new legal immigrants to wait five years before being eligible for Medicaid or child health insurance — a proposal that would end coverage for hundreds of kids in the Beehive State.
us, utah, senate proposal, end, health coverage, legal immigrant children
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2017-50-29
Friday, 29 December 2017 11:50 AM
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