When the Pennsylvania Legislature was the first in the nation to enact Cubrir a todos los niños, we extended health care coverage to casi every child in Pennsylvania. Nearly 20,000 children in PA do not have public coverage because the law banned coverage for kids who do “not meet the citizenship requirements of Title XXI of the Social Security Act.” These 13 words bar children who were brought to this country from enrolling in the state’s CHIP program.
Children First’s Cuidado de los sueños Coalition is working to modify state law and enable all children, including the estimated 7,000 undocumented children in southeastern Pennsylvania, to qualify for public health insurance and get the care they need. Thousands of PA children suffer treatable ailments because their parents can’t afford a doctor:
- Eight out of ten of these children haven’t been able to go to a health care provider or are receiving significantly delayed care.
- Nearly half of these children haven’t seen a dentist in more than year.
- Three quarters of these children cannot get the medications they need.
There’s no federal law stopping Pennsylvania from using our own resources to cover the cost of health coverage for undocumented children. Parts of California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Washington, and the District of Columbia have already stepped up to make sure every child living in their communities can be healthy and successful.
More than 100 member organizations form the Dream Care Coalition (see the list here).
Add your voice to the growing call for health coverage for ALL of Pennsylvania’s children by contacting Rosemarie Halt, Interim Health Policy Director, at rosemarieh at childrenfirstPA.org or 215-563-5848 ext. 331.