Press Release

Contact: Ed Walz
Phone: 202-657-0685
Email: edw@firstfocus.net
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Lujan Grisham Bill Would Restore Children’s Health Care

Child Abuse & Neglect
Children of Immigrants

Washington – Legislation introduced today by Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) would restore health care access for children. Specifically, the Health Equity & Access under the Law for Immigrant Women & Families Act of 2014 would ensure that lawfully present immigrant children eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid can get the care they need, without an arbitrary five year waiting period. The bill would also make “DREAMers” participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative, if they otherwise qualify, eligible for CHIP or Medicaid or to purchase insurance through the Affordable Care Act’s new health care marketplaces. The First Focus Campaign for Children joined more than 150 national and state organizations in endorsing this important legislation. The advocacy group released the following statement today by First Focus Campaign for Children president Bruce Lesley:

“Children with cancer, asthma, diabetes, or who just need glasses should never have to wait five years, regardless of immigration status. Five years can be a lifetime for a child, and children simply can’t wait for years to get the health care they need. In addition, the bill eliminates the nonsensical policy of asking pregnant women to wait five years to get maternal and prenatal care that reduces infant mortality. Children of immigrants are one-fourth of the children in America, so continuing to deny immigrant children and parents the health care they need is as short-sighted as it is cold-hearted. It’s time for Congress to pass the HEAL Immigrant Women & Families Act.”

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The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are the priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit www.ffcampaignforchildren.org.