Health Care In The States

D.C. Health Program For Illegal Immigrants Avoids Cuts

By Sarah Barr

May 16th, 2012, 1:11 PM

A public health insurance program that primarily serves illegal immigrants in the District of Columbia avoided the chopping block Tuesday under a budget compromise approved by the D.C. Council.

Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) earlier this spring recommended cutting hospital-based care from the HealthCare Alliance program to save more than $20 million in the District’s budget, which begins in October.  The alliance covers about 19,000 people, most of whom are illegal immigrants.

But District Council member David A. Catania (I-At Large), who chairs the health committee, opposed the cuts, arguing that they would diminish care for an already vulnerable population that should not be treated differently because of its immigration status, according to his spokesman Brendan Williams-Kief.

The alliance was set up to cover low-income city residents who are ineigible for Medicaid, but the 2010 federal health law opened the joint federal-state program to many of those people. That expansion does not cover illegal  immigrants, however, who now make up the bulk of the alliance program.

After weeks of political wrangling, the mayor and council settled on a compromise that preserves the alliance’s hospital benefits through tweaks and trims to other District health programs and an expected increase in federal funding for emergency treatment.

Both Catania and Gray praised the compromise in statements.

“Today’s agreement ensures that all low-income District residents are treated equally and afforded the dignity of comprehensive, high quality health care,” Catania said.

Gray said he is “delighted” the compromise maintains the Alliance funding and protects other health care programs.

“The plan addresses my concerns and the concerns we heard from many community organizations, while ensuring Alliance beneficiaries will continue to receive critical health-care coverage,” he said.

The council approved the budget by a vote of 12-0.  A final vote is scheduled for June 5.

5 Responses to “D.C. Health Program For Illegal Immigrants Avoids Cuts”

  1. Davidb63 says:

    Figures liberals will help people break Immigration laws,The SIMPSON/MAZZOLI ACT,by being here,working here,etc, and spent other peoples money.When are the Politicians/Police going to enforce the laws,and eliminate the illegals,and criminals?.

  2. Davidb63 says:

    When are politicians and the police going to enforce Immigration laws,the SIMPSON/MAZZOLI ACT,and quit helping criminals(the illegals) break the laws?

  3. Delaware Bob says:

    What makes these illegal aliens who are in this country ILLEGALLY, think we should chance our laws to suit them? Who are these people? What gives them the right to enter this country ILLEGALLY and demand anything? Again, who do these people think they are? I’m not a republican, but I will be voting for one in the next election and pray to God if he wins, he will get our immigration laws enforced and get rid of all the illegal aliens. The illegal aliens who don’t have our jobs are using this country as a welfare country with their anchor babies. This has to stop! When we get rid of all the illegal aliens, we will get rid of all the problems that go with them. THAT IS A FACT!

  4. ErikaS says:

    To the both of you who posted above. Those immigrants whether they are here legally or not 9 times out of ten they are doing the jobs that many U.S. born citizens refuse to do. They are the ones that keep America moving. Sure there are immigrants out there who come here and commit crimes but there are bad people from every background, both U.S. born and not. Oh and Delaware Bob…REALLY?? ANCHOR BABIES? CMON NOW. You may not be republican but you are clearly a bigot and an ignorant ASS.

  5. Davidb63 says:

    ERIKAS,Immigrants are not the problem,but illegals are,understand?.Your bs that illegals are needed is just that,bs,and Americans do work in construction,in kitchens,in motel/hotel work,because I did,so keep your bs.You are not able to understand the laws of the USA,that laws are to be followed,not broken,but,that is your problem.All illegals are habitual criminals,but not all Americans or immigrants are.