To the Editor:
Thank you for running the guest commentary, “When considering health care reform, do not exclude legal immigrants.”
The Children’s Alliance has worked for years to ensure that children in Washington state do not have to wait for health coverage, no matter their immigration status. Under the state’s Apple Health for Kids program, both documented and undocumented children are eligible for coverage — with no waiting period.
The Apple Health for Kids program is threatened by the economic woes that have forced $4 billion in state budget cuts during the last legislative session and will likely mean further cuts in the legislative session that begins in January 2010.
Cutting the very programs families rely on most will harm those who are already suffering hardship from the current recession and will impact children and families of color disproportionately.
We at the Children’s Alliance are pushing for a more balanced approach to meeting the needs of Washington residents while also absorbing the sharp reduction in revenue to the state from the recession.
We invite anyone who is concerned about children’s health to join us in fighting to protect Apple Health for Kids by writing to your state legislators and urging them to protect Apple Health for Kids for all children in Washington state.
Policy makers need to know what is important to people in their community.
Visit www.childrensalliance.org to learn more about how to become involved in protecting children’s health at all levels of government.
— Lan Nguyen, health policy coordinator at Children’s Alliance