MALDEF Thanks President Obama & Congress for Expanding Health Coverage for Thousands of Latino Children

Commends Congressional leadership for removing barriers to health care for legal immigrant children

February 04, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – This afternoon, President Obama signed into law the reauthorization and expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). In addition to investing more resources to expand coverage for children, CHIP allows states to waive a five-year waiting period to extend health care insurance benefits to millions of legal immigrant children. Latino children represent 38% of uninsured children in America, CHIP will go far to help insure many of these children.

Latino children are more likely to be uninsured than their peers, in part because of multiple barriers that prevent legal immigrants from accessing Medicaid and SCHIP. By removing the five year waiting period, Latino children will now have greater opportunity to obtain a regular source of health care, ensuring that easily treatable health conditions are not exacerbated.

“President Obama and Congress have removed a harsh inequity that blocked basic health care for immigrant children. This action strengthens families and communities across the nation,” stated MALDEF President & General Counsel John Trasviña.

“Today the President has taken a significant step toward closing the access gap faced by many in our community,” stated MALDEF Washington, D.C. Legislative Staff Attorney Sam Jammal. “Thousands of Latino children will now be able to receive preventative and primary care as a result of this legislation.”

For all media inquiries, please contact Laura Rodriguez.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund