A new state audit revealed that Illinois has spent $396 million on taxpayer-funded health insurance for illegal immigrants.
According to audit findings released last month by the Illinois Auditor General, the State of Illinois spent $38.2 million on the Expanded ALL KIDS program for illegal immigrants in Fiscal Year 2016, bringing the total spent to $396 million over an eight-year period.
Covering ALL KIDS, a program created in the Blagojevich era, provides health care coverage for children, regardless of immigration status. Undocumented enrollees are not eligible for federal Medicaid funds, so the entire cost of providing health insurance to illegal immigrants is paid for by Illinois taxpayers.
State Representative David Reis (R-Ste. Marie), a long-time opponent of ALL KIDS, says the audit findings point to the importance of passing his legislation to stop illegal immigrants from collecting taxpayer-funded welfare benefits.
“The ALL KIDS program is yet another example of Illinois taxpayers being on the hook for benefits to illegal immigrants,” Reis said. “The State of Illinois has spent nearly $400 million of our tax dollars on free health insurance for illegals. That’s just outrageous. Illinois has no business giving welfare benefits to people who are in our state and country illegally.”
Representative Reis is sponsoring House Bill 4182, a bill to prohibit illegal immigrants from taking part in entitlement programs under the Illinois Public Aid Code, including ALL KIDS.
“The sad reality is that Illinois has become a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants,” Reis said. “With the so-called Trust Act and programs like ALL KIDS, the Chicago politicians have made Illinois a safe haven for illegal immigrants. I voted against ALL KIDS when it first passed and I voted against its three-year extension in 2016. I remain absolutely opposed to this giveaway to illegals.”
The ALL KIDS program was set to expire on July 1, 2016. House Bill 5736 (P.A. 99-518) extended the program for three years. Rep. Reis voted against HB 5736, which passed the House on a vote of 77-38.
ALL KIDS program audits conducted by the Illinois Auditor General show that 62 percent of the enrollees and nearly 60 percent of the total cost comes from undocumented immigrants. Between Fiscal Years 2009 and 2016, Illinois spent $396 million on health coverage for undocumented immigrants.