New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0192-2014    Version: * Name: Health Equity and Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act to expand access to health care services for immigrant women, men, and families. ( H.R. 4240)
Type: Resolution Status: Filed (End of Session)
Committee: Committee on Health
On agenda: 4/29/2014
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling upon the United States Congress to pass and the President to sign H.R. 4240, the Health Equity and Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act to expand access to health care services for immigrant women, men, and families by removing legal barriers to health insurance coverage.
Sponsors: Corey D. Johnson, Margaret S. Chin, Mathieu Eugene, Vanessa L. Gibson, Peter A. Koo, Mark Levine, Antonio Reynoso, Deborah L. Rose, Helen K. Rosenthal
Council Member Sponsors: 9

Res. No. 192

 

Resolution calling upon the United States Congress to pass and the President to sign H.R. 4240, the Health Equity and Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act to expand access to health care services for immigrant women, men, and families by removing legal barriers to health insurance coverage.

 

By Council Members Johnson, Chin, Eugene, Gibson, Koo, Levine, Reynoso, Rose and Rosenthal

 

Whereas, The United States (U.S.) Census Bureau's 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) estimates the U.S. immigrant population at almost 40.4 million; and

Whereas, Around one-third of immigrants are uninsured, according to the 2011 ACS; and

Whereas, A number of restrictions on access to care have been put in place over the last two decades, which has put affordable health care out of reach for many immigrants in the United States; and

Whereas, Undocumented immigrants and lawfully present immigrants residing in the U.S. for less than five years are currently ineligible for federally funded health coverage; and

Whereas, Although a 2014 Gallup poll reports that the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has helped nearly 10 million people obtain health insurance, many immigrants have been excluded from this expanded coverage due to their status; and

Whereas, According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the uninsured receive less preventive care and recommended screenings, are more likely to postpone and forgo care, are generally not as healthy, have significantly higher mortality rates, and are at higher risk for preventable hospitalizations and for missed diagnoses than the insured; and

Whereas, Especially concerning is the possibility of immigrant women forgoing sexual, reproductive, and maternal health services due to lack of insurance, including prenatal visits, contraceptives, sexually transmitted infection screenings, breast-feeding support, and cancer screening; and

Whereas, According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, uninsured individuals are almost twice as likely as those with health insurance coverage to have trouble paying medical bills and the average uninsured household has no net assets, leaving them vulnerable to mounting debt; and

Whereas, This cost is passed to everyone in the form of taxes to support Federal Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) payments, available to hospitals that serve a large percentage of uninsured, and through increased premiums for those who are insured; and

Whereas, The Health Equity and Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act, H.R. 4240, sponsored by U.S. Representative Michelle Lujan Grisham, would remove the roadblocks that have prevented immigrants who reside legally in this country from obtaining health insurance; and

Whereas, Specifically, the HEAL for Immigrant Women and Families Act would eliminate the ban on enrollment until five years after an immigrant has established lawful status, providing access to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for all lawfully present immigrants who are otherwise eligible; and

Whereas, H.R. 4240 would also allow lawfully present young people granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status to participate fully in ACA, allowing them to buy coverage on the health insurance marketplaces, obtain subsidies designed to make coverage affordable, and access care through the Basic Health Program, Medicaid or CHIP if they are eligible; and

Whereas, Denying coverage or imposing waiting periods for coverage puts an unnecessary strain on immigrant families, preventing them from taking responsibility for their own health and accessing the services necessary to plan whether and when to have a child; and

Whereas, Removing legal barriers to affordable health insurance coverage based on immigration status will create healthier communities and a stronger economy; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the United States Congress to pass and the President to sign H.R. 4240, the Health Equity and Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act to expand access to health care services for immigrant women, men, and families by removing legal barriers to health insurance coverage.

 

CP

LS 1197

4/17/14