Rep. Krista Griffith and Sen. Sarah McBride‘s Cover All Delaware Children Act, contained in House Bill 317, would establish a medical coverage program for children in Delaware who are not otherwise covered, including children who are not documented.
A child resident in the state whose family income is low enough that they would qualify on that basis for Medicaid or CHIP coverage, but is not eligible for Medicaid or other federally funded coverage, is eligible for coverage and medical care under House Bill 317.
Lawmakers believe this bill would cover approximately 2,000 to 5,000 children who either fall through the cracks under the federal programs or who are undocumented in Delaware.
The Department of Health and Social Services would run the program, which would go into effect in January 2023 if the bill passes. Hospital, medical, dental and prescription drug benefits would align with Medicaid and CHIP coverage, according to the bill. It’s expected to cost several million dollars per year.
Eight states reportedly provide health coverage to undocumented children: California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.
The bill won’t be scheduled for a hearing until March, according to a House spokesperson. The bill has support from Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long and the Delaware State Education Association.
|House Bill 317 Sponsors||Yes Votes||No Votes|
|Griffith, Bentz, Heffernan, Longhurst, Minor-Brown, Mitchell, Baumbach, Bolden, Chukwuocha, Cooke, Dorsey Walker, K.Johnson, Kowalko, Lambert, Lynn. S.Moore, Morrison, Wilson-Anton|
|McBride, Lockman, Pinkney, Townsend, Gay, Mantzavinos, Poore, Sokola, Sturgeon ola, Sturgeon|
|Current Status: House Health & Human Development 2/11/22|
Representative Griffith: “Many of us take health insurance and its lifesaving benefits for granted, but for thousands of Delaware children, there is no viable option for them to get covered. A simple trip to the doctor for an illness or to get vaccinated is not a financially viable option. We owe it to these children – many of whom are in this situation not by their own choice – to help them get the same standard of care so many thousands of other young Delawareans receive.”
“The Cover All Delaware Children Act will provide our young residents access to doctors and nurses and the basic medical care they need.”
Of course, since this bill would cover the undocumented, Republicans are loudly opposing this bill, because their stance on the undocumented is that they shouldn’t exist and if they do exist they should get healthcare at all.