Pennsylvania has the distinction of being the birthplace of the nation’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and one of the first to join the Cover All Kids movement. And, while Pennsylvania has nearly reached its goal of covering all kids, it has fallen short by categorically excluding thousands of undocumented immigrant children.
When the Pennsylvania legislature enacted Cover All Kids it extended health care coverage to almost every child in Pennsylvania – except the 38,000 statewide who do “not meet the citizenship requirements of Title XXI of the Social Security Act.” These 13 words bar children whose parents entered the country with them illegally from enrolling in the state’s CHIP program, and launch PCCY into action.
In 2014, PCCY initiates the Dream Care campaign to modify state law and enable all children, including the estimated 7,000 undocumented children in southeastern Pennsylvania, to qualify for public health insurance.
PCCY builds a statewide effort, recruiting local health care executives, to help persuade Pennsylvania to the ranks of states and localities that have chosen to use their own resources to cover the cost of health coverage for children who are undocumented – localities including sections of California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Washington, and the District of Columbia.