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Supporters Of Proposal To Cover Medical Costs Of All Children Rally At Oregon Capitol

Supporters of a proposal that would cover the medical costs of all Oregon children rallied at the Oregon capitol Friday.
Chris Lehman
/
Northwest News Network
Supporters of a proposal that would cover the medical costs of all Oregon children rallied at the Oregon capitol Friday.

Supporters of a proposal to cover the medical costs of all Oregon children rallied at the state Capitol Friday. A pair of bills under consideration in Salem— HB 2726 and SB 558—would extend Oregon Health Plan coverage to include kids who are in the country illegally.

Democratic Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon represents Woodburn. She told the crowd the proposal would help some of the most vulnerable people she represents.

"I want to ensure that every child in my district, every child in the state, should have access to health care coverage,” she said. “Families should not have to choose between taking their child to the doctor and paying bills."

According to the Oregon Health Authority, the proposal would cost nearly $27 million per year. The expansion would benefit roughly 15,000 children who are living in Oregon but are not legal residents.

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage. Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.