Show of hands on immigrant health care belies a thorny issue

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic presidential candidates moved to the mainstream the idea of providing full health insurance coverage for people who don’t have permission to be in the United States legally.

But turning that debate-night moment into reality would mean reversing longstanding federal policies that exclude people without legal immigration status from major health programs. The idea is so new that there’s no cost estimate.

Doubling down on tough immigration policies, President Donald Trump responded to the Democrats on Twitter: “How about taking care of American Citizens first?”

A CNN poll says a majority of Democrats favors government coverage for those in the country illegally. But among all Americans, 59% oppose the idea.

Not all the health care doors are shut now. Emergency rooms must attend all patients.

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