Boost to Healthcare Workforce Could Come from Immigration Bill

A bipartisan Senate immigration bill could boost the nation's healthcare workforce, in addition to expanding coverage to millions of newly legal residents.

The 844-page Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, which was introduced Thursday, would provide a legalization process for the approximately 11 million illegal immigrants. Although the bill bars access to public benefits during a transitional period, the newly legal residents could qualify for private insurance for the first time—possibly reducing their dependence on emergency rooms, according to health policy experts.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held the first hearing on the bill Friday, and the bill is expected to move to the Senate floor in June. Advocates of the legislation hope it can clear Congress before the August recess. In the lower chamber, a bipartisan group of eight representatives is working on legislation of their own.

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Source: Modern Healthcare