Many states are providing health care to immigrants, both legal and undocumented, recognizing that long-term investments in education and health care will pay off with a more skilled and healthy workforce in the future.  More than half of the states spend their own funds to provide services to at least some immigrants ineligible for federal services. 

  • Illinois' AllKids program extended its coverage to children of all income levels, regardless of immigration status.  It was joined by Massachusetts, Hawaii, New York and California as those states continued to expand health benefits for many immigrant children.  In 2007, the state of Washington extended health coverage to all children in families up to 250% of the federal poverty line (moving to 300% in 2009), again, regardless of immigration status. 
  • In California, even Republican Governor Schwarzenegger has said he wants to include all undocumented immigrants in any plan for universal access to health care, because as he argued in a speech announcing his own plan in January, "the decision for my team was, do we treat them in emergency rooms at the highest cost available or we do it right and do it efficiently?"
  • In 2007, Rhode Island's HB 5412 provided for assistance to legal immigrants ineligible for federally funded services while its proposed SB 415 would extend health coverage to children who do not meet citizenship requirements.

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