Our nation needs affordable health care reform with a strong public insurance option for all our residents. That includes our family, friends, and fellow workers who are immigrants. But under the proposed health care reform legislation, low-income legal immigrants would still have to wait FIVE YEARS to access federal programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. These immigrants pay the same taxes as citizens, and should be able to rely on the same programs in times of need. No one should have to wait for access to affordable health care!
We can’t let the naysayers use immigrants to derail reform and distract us from the goal of affordable health care for everyone, including immigrants. House leaders are in the midst of merging their health care bills – now is the time to stand up for real, affordable health reform that includes immigrant families:
Tell your Representative that Congress must eliminate the waiting period in Medicaid for legal immigrants now!
Not sure what to say? Here is a sample script:
When you reach an office, ask to leave a legislative comment.
• I’m calling from [your city or state] from Health Care for America Now.
• My community urgently needs affordable health care reform that includes an affordable public option and includes everyone in my community, including legal immigrants.
• I want [your representative’s name] to tell Speaker Pelosi to eliminate the 5 year waiting period for legal immigrants so they can have access to federal programs like Medicaid. This will save everyone costs, improve our community’s health, and is the fair thing to do.
• The exchange shouldn’t exclude anyone who wants to pay their fair share and buy affordable health care – having more people pay in ensures affordable care for all of us.
Additional Talking Points and Materials:
National Immigration Law Center
Five Year Bar Fact Sheet and Talking Points
Immigration Policy Center
Including Legal Immigrants in Health Care Reform: Just What the Doctor Ordered