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Utah Providers

"Please fund SB44 (Sen. Robles) to provide coverage to otherwise uninsured legal permanent resident children."
Cost-Effective Health Care Coverage for
Legal Immigrant Kids

Dr. Charles Pruitt works in the emergency room of Primary Children’s Medical Center.  He enthusiastically supports SB 44, Health Care Amendments for Legal Immigrant Children, because he sees first-hand the consequences of not expanding coverage to these children… 


“When I think about this issue, 3 young girls come to mind…

  • the immigrant girl whose mother waited as long as she could before bringing her to my emergency department for treatment of a painful and debilitating infection. The treatment would have been far less expensive, not just for the family but for the taxpayer, if this family had had coverage in the first place. 
  • I remember the sobbing girl so distressed, not about her new diagnosis of leukemia, but rather about how her family would be able to pay for her medical care! 
  • Then I think about my own daughter and how fortunate she is to be one of the privileged Utah children with access to affordable care whenever it is needed.  All of our children are precious and all of our children deserve to grow up healthy and happy. I urge you to fully fund this legislation.


Policy Solution: Pass and Fund SB44

SB44 (Sen. Robles) opens CHIP and Medicaid to approximately 800 otherwise uninsured legal permanent and lawfully present children, by removing the 5-year waiting period. The federal government will pay 80% of the cost ($468,600) of this expansion, a great bargain for Utah. SB44 should be funded through the Medicaid Restricted Account, the Tobacco Settlement Trust Fund, the proposed tobacco tax increase, or state general revenues.

Last year similar legislation was passed in both the House and Senate, though without funding, because of a shared recognition that expanding coverage to these children is an important step in state health system reform. Given the generous 4-to-1 federal match for this option, along with the advantages of covering otherwise uninsured kids, this is an important investment for our state to make, especially in an economic downturn.