PHOENIX (AP) — President Barack Obama has championed two sweeping policy changes that could transform how people live in the United States: affordable health care for all and a path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants illegally in the country.
But many immigrants will have to wait more than a decade to qualify for health care benefits under the proposed immigration overhaul being debated by Congress. That means a huge swath of people will remain uninsured as the centerpiece of Obama's health care law launches next year.
Lawmakers pushing the immigration bill said adding more recipients to an already costly program would make it unaffordable.
Health care analysts and immigration proponents argue that denying coverage will saddle local governments with the burden of uninsured immigrants.