Public Policy, Immigration & Uninsurance: Chipping Away at Disparities

Christine Gille, University of Minnesota

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (PRWORA) of 1996 restricted federal funding of health insurance for legal immigrant children that have lived in the United States for five years or less. The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), enacted in 1997, was subject to this restriction. This paper explores health insurance coverage for children in immigrant families compared to those in native-born families prior to and after major policy changes. A difference-in-differences method was used to compare changes in health insurance coverage using data from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS-ASEC). Samples were compared based on nativity and whether the state of residence opted to use state funds to provide health insurance for immigrant children ineligible for federal funding. Policies that differentially target immigrant populations can create major barriers to health care access for an already vulnerable population.

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Presented in Poster Session 2