Medicaid’s new strict identification requirements to create barrier to illegal immigrants.

The New York Times reports that “more than 50 million Medicaid recipients will soon have to produce birth certificates, passports or other documents to prove that they are United States citizens…The new requirement takes effect on July 1.” To what end? “The Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will save the federal government $220 million over five years and $735 million over 10 years. Estimates of the number of people who will be affected vary widely. The budget office expects that 35,000 people will lose coverage by 2015. Most of them will be illegal immigrants, it said.” — An infinitesimal number, about one fifth of one percent of illegal residents.
I have posted already about barriers created unadvertantly through imposing strict documentation requirements, for instance in Mississippi regarding the dispensing of prescribed pain medications to work injured persons.

Under the law, the Deficit Reduction Act, states cannot receive federal Medicaid money unless they verify citizenship by checking documents like passports and birth certificates for people who receive or apply for Medicaid.

In general, Medicaid is available only to United States citizens and certain “qualified aliens.” Legal immigrants are, in many cases, barred from Medicaid for five years after they enter the United States. Under a 1986 law, applicants for Medicaid have to declare in writing, under penalty of perjury, whether they are citizens and, if not, whether they are “in a satisfactory immigration status.”

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