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Tiahrt wrong about immigrants and health care

Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, claimed during a town hall meeting Tuesday in Derby that a third of the estimated 46 million people in the United States who don't have health insurance are illegal immigrants. But according to estimates by the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation, the number of illegal immigrants without insurance is 5.6 million, or about 12 percent of the total. That's still a lot, but it's far less than a third. Tiahrt also claimed that the health reform plan in Congress would pay for insuring illegals. But House and Senate bills explicitly prohibit "individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States" from receiving federal assistance to buy health insurance.