Immigrants and their U.S.-born children make up more than 40 percent of new Medicaid recipients at a cost of $4.6 billion, according to an analysis of government data.
The Center for Immigration Studies, a low-immigration advocacy group, released a report early Thursday that found both legal and illegal immigrants and their minor children made up 42 percent of Medicaid growth from 2011 to last year.
Part of the increased enrollment came as a result of the new healthcare law’s expansion of Medicaid to impoverished and low-income adults.
“The high rate and significant growth in Medicaid associated with immigrants is mainly the result of a legal immigration system that admits large numbers of immigrants with relatively low-levels of education, many of whom end up poor and uninsured,” the report says. "This fact, coupled with the extensive supports we provide to low-income residents, unavoidably creates very significant costs for taxpayers.”
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The report was issued as President Obama prepared to unveil his executive action to reduce deportations and allow more illegal immigrants to remain in the country.
According to CIS officials, most of the immigrants tallied in the report entered the United States legally. The report also found that two-thirds of the Medicaid recipients were the adult immigrants and not the children of immigrants born in the United States.
The report makes the case that immigrants and their children are benefiting more from Medicaid expansion than non-immigrants. The report found that 25 percent of immigrants and their children were enrolled in Medicaid, compared to 16 percent of non-immigrants and their children.
The report also determined that Medicaid expansion helped decrease the number of uninsured immigrants and their children from 28 percent in 2011 to 23 percent in 2013.
Comparatively, 11 percent of non-immigrant adults and their children were uninsured in 2013 thanks to Medicaid, compared to 13 percent in 2011, which represents a much less significant decline.
The data was culled from the U.S. Census Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplements.