By Tom Curry National affairs writer
updated 9/22/2009 11:01:28 AM ET 2009-09-22T15:01:28

Claim: The Senate Finance Committee bill is harder on illegal immigrants than the House bill.

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The House bill to overhaul health insurance says illegal immigrants cannot get taxpayer subsidies to take part in the new insurance system. But the bill doesn’t have a way of verifying whether someone is a legal resident of the United States. White House aides and some Senate Democrats were concerned that the House bill doesn't go far enough to deny benefits to illegal immigrants.

Fact or Fiction?

Fact. Not only does the Senate Finance Committee bill bar illegal immigrants from getting subsidies to buy insurance, it prohibits them from using their own funds to buy coverage through one of the government’s new Web-based insurance marketplaces. Illegal immigrants would be able to buy insurance for their children if those children were U.S. citizens. The Senate Finance bill also requires verification of U.S. citizenship in order to take part in the new marketplaces. President Obama said last week that the insurance debate “underscores the necessity of passing comprehensive immigration reform,” which would include a way for illegal immigrants to gain legal resident status.

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