KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Illegal Immigrants: A Fact Check On Their Place In Health Reform

Reuters did a "fact box" on illegal immigrants and President Obama's health care reform push.

Among the findings: "There were 46.3 million people without health insurance in the United States in 2008 from 45.7 million a year earlier, according to the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey released on Thursday."

"Some 44.7 percent of non-citizen immigrants were uninsured in 2008. Among native-born citizens, the figure stood at 12.9 percent in 2008."

"There is no widely accepted national estimate of the annual cost of healthcare for illegal immigrants, partly because hospitals do not collect immigration figures."

"The Federation for American Immigration Reform, which advocates a temporary moratorium on most immigration, puts the cost at $10.7 billion and calls the estimate conservative" (Bigg, 9/13).

PolitiFact's "Truth-O-Meter," which ruled Rep. Joe Wilson wrong when he called President Obama's a liar on immigrants and health reform, weighed in on the GOP's follow-up:  "The Republican conference ... says, 'Fact: Nothing in any of the Democrat bills would require individuals to verify their citizenship or identity prior to receiving taxpayer-subsidized benefits, making the president's promise one that the legislation itself does not keep.' We dug into the facts and found the Republicans were partly right and gave them a Half True" (Jacobson, 9/10) .

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