Activists Want Oregon To Cover Medical Costs Of Undocumented Children

Supporters of a proposal to cover the medical costs of all Oregon children rallied at the state Capitol on Friday.

A pair of bills under consideration in Salem would extend Oregon Health Plan coverage to include kids who are in the country illegally.


Democratic Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon's district includes Woodburn. She told the crowd the proposal would help some of the most vulnerable people she represents.

"I want to ensure that every child in my district, every child in the state, should have access to health care coverage," she said. "Families should not have to choose between taking their child to the doctor and paying bills."

According to the Oregon Health Authority, the proposal would cost nearly $27 million a year. The expansion would benefit roughly 15,000 children who are living in Oregon, but are not legal residents.

Both of the bills were given initial approval by legislative policy committees. They each await further action in the Legislature's budget-writing committee.

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