Illegal-immigrant issues may threaten passage of House reform bill

Though the issue of health coverage for illegal immigrants has been a hot potato during health reform debates, the bills being considered by both houses include language forbidding such immigrants from enrolling in the public option or getting subsidies to buy private policies.

Now, however, it seems that some members of the House are pushing colleagues to add language strengthening such safeguards, including provisions which would bar illegal immigrants from accessing the health insurance exchange, even if they pay for coverage out of pocket. This provision is being challenged by members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, which met with President Obama to discuss the issue and underline their opposition to further restrictions.

Political observers predict that if House leaders leave tougher restrictions out of the bill, it will lead to a major conflict with the Senate, and possibly with Obama, as well. However, the same pundits contend that CHC is likely to get its way, nonetheless.

To learn more about this issue:
- read this Kaiser Health News piece

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