National Immigration Law Center FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, SEPTEMBER 16, 2009CONTACT: Adela de la Torre 213.674.2832
WASHINGTON – In yet another attempt to derail progress on health care reform, opponents have tried again to generate fears and false claims about immigrants. Unfortunately, rather than strengthening its resolve to improve the health care system, the Senate Finance Committee, apparently following the administration’s lead, has responded by taking the bait. Today the committee introduced a health care reform proposal that denies millions of U.S. workers and their families the opportunity to purchase affordable health care and that will threaten the health and well-being of the nation’s communities. Below is a statement from National Immigration Law Center Executive Director Marielena Hincapié on efforts to deny immigrants access to affordable health care.
“In an effort to appease the anti-immigrant minority who fundamentally oppose health care reform, the health care reform proposal released today by the chair of the Senate Finance Committee falls far short of the original goal of making health care available or affordable for everyone. Lawmakers have once again allowed disruptive, counterproductive voices to prevent us from moving forward as a country with real solutions for the broken health care and immigration systems. Instead, they offer half-hearted solutions that leave too many families and workers behind while Americans continue to lose access to affordable health care. Instead of cowering before those who believe the status quo works for the average American, Congress needs to prescribe real solutions to the health care crisis and fix the system in a way that addresses the diverse needs of our nation.
“We cannot allow the shouts of a few extremists to prevent us from repairing a health care system that has been broken for decades. We urge Congress to make the most of this historic opportunity to move the country forward by ensuring that all Americans — including immigrants and their families — have access to quality affordable health care. Common-sense measures, such as ensuring that low-income legal immigrants do not have to wait five years for affordable care, will go a long way in improving our national health.”
For more information:
"Why Excluding People from the Health Care Exchange is Impractical and Harmful to All of Us" (www.nilc.org/immspbs/health/exchange-imms-2009-09-14.pdf)
More information about the health care reform bills and how they affect immigrants will be available soon at www.nilc.org.