Friday, December 11, 2009

Help Increase Immigrants' Medicaid Access

Under current law, legal immigrants with low incomes must wait FIVE YEARS in order to be eligible for Medicaid. The only exception to this rule is for pregnant women and children. Given the fact that over 70% of Medicaid recipients are women, this arbitrary 5 year waiting period disproportionately affects women and only hinders access to vital health services. As we know, lack of access to preventive health care only complicates problems and increases costs down the road.

Thankfully, on Monday, 12/7, Senator Menendez (D-NJ) filed an amendment to the Senate health care reform bill to provide states with the option to remove this five year waiting period for legal immigrants! The vote is expected this week.

You've organized and taken action to protect women's health and defeat the Nelson-Hatch amendment. Now it's time to stand up for low-income immigrants' access to health care!

Call your Senators today and urge them to vote in favor of the Menendez amendment. You can reach your Senators through the Capitol switchboard at 202.224.3141. If it's busy, visit: and look up your Senator, then call their direct DC and District office lines with your message.

Thank you for your help!

Photo courtesy of Hoetzl

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