Medical News

Groups Want New Jersey To Restore Immigrant Outreach Funds

The Medical News — Monday, June 15, 2009

"Immigrant and health-care advocacy groups" are calling on New Jersey to "restore $1 million in funding that has been eliminated in the latest round of budget tightening," the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

"The money was earmarked for community-outreach efforts to educate legal immigrants on available state health programs." A report released yesterday by Rutgers University concluded that "New Jersey's percentage of uninsured immigrant children is higher than the national average, and the state has a poor track record of making sure those children receive health coverage."

The state "mandates that all children be insured, but the report finds that nearly 300,000 children younger than 19 in the state are without health insurance. Many of them are immigrants, or the children of immigrants, and the majority of them are here legally. Nearly 225,000 children are income-eligible for free or subsidized coverage but not receiving it." The Rutgers report found that "more than half of all children who qualify for New Jersey's Family Care program live in households with at least one immigrant." The $1 million that was cut from the budget was the first "health-care community outreach" funding to be earmarked in the past five years (Henry, 6/10).

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