health care

Do you believe all undocumented immigrants should be covered under a government-run health plan?

Yes

Yes, they should be covered

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

“Undocumented immigrants should have the option of purchasing health insurance on the exchange,” Bennet told The Post.

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Michael Bennet
Bennet

Joe Biden

Former vice president

“You cannot let people who are sick, no matter where they come from, no matter what their status, go uncovered,” Biden said during the first Democratic debate. He raised his hand when when asked whether his government plan would provide coverage for undocumented immigrants.

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Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

"We need to make our health-care system more effective by passing Medicare-for-all, and we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform that creates a pathway to citizenship for those already living in the United States," Booker told the Post.

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Cory Booker
Booker

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

“Undocumented immigrants should be able to buy coverage through the public option,” a Buttigieg campaign spokesman told The Post.

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Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

Castro supports covering undocumented immigrants, he told The Post.

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Julian Castro
Castro

Bill de Blasio

Mayor, New York City

In January 2019, de Blasio announced an “NYC Care” plan to guarantee insurance to the city's undocumented immigrants.

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Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

Kirsten Gillibrand

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand co-sponsored Sanders’ Medicare-for-all proposal, which would cover undocumented immigrants.

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Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris co-sponsored Sanders’ Medicare-for-all proposal, which would cover undocumented immigrants.

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Kamala Harris
Harris

Seth Moulton

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

“Under current law hospitals in the US cannot refuse to treat patients who need care. This means that when an undocumented immigrant gets care they often do so in the emergency department. Hospitals are the highest cost providers and the bills are often too high for immigrants to afford,” Moulton told The Post. “In this way we already pay for health care for undocumented immigrants. My plan would be a public option. By opening it up to undocumented immigrants to purchase, more folks will be covered, the risk pool will be younger and healthier, and fewer hospital bills will go unpaid.”

Candidate positions highlighted
Seth Moulton
Moulton

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

Sanders told The Post, "My plan would cover all U.S. residents."

6/21/2019: “If you are a human being, regardless of your immigration status, you have a right to health care.”

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Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “I support coverage for all,” Swalwell told The Post.

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Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

Warren co-sponsored Sanders’ Medicare-for-all proposal, which would cover undocumented immigrants.

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Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

Williamson told The Post, "Yes" when asked.

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Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Yes, with caveat

Yes, with caveat

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

"Undocumented immigrants who register for the path to citizenship would be eligible to participate in the health plan at some additional cost to them," Yang told The Post.

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Andrew Yang
Yang

No

No, they should not be covered

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“Comprehensive immigration reform that protects our borders, helps the Dreamers who have known no other home than ours, and provides legal status and a path to citizenship for immigrants who have been part of the fabric of our country for many years is the best way to address health coverage for people who want to become American citizens,” Bullock told The Post. “We’ve got 100,00 people showing up at the border right now. If we decriminalize entry, if we give free healthcare to everyone, we’ll have multiples of that,” Bullock said at the second Democratic debate. “A sane immigration system needs a sane leader. And we can do that without decriminalizing and providing health care for everyone.”

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Steve Bullock
Bullock

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

“I support comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. My universal health care plan would cover tax paying legal permanent residents,” Delaney told the Post.

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John Delaney
Delaney

Wayne Messam

Mayor, Miramar, Fla.

“This problem needs to be addressed, but the proper place is with immigration reform, not health-care reform,” Messam told The Post.

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Wayne Messam
Messam

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

Ryan does not support covering undocumented immigrants, his campaign told The Post.

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Tim Ryan
Ryan

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

“No, but I do believe in their access to medical care that would take them to see a doctor in the emergency room; they must receive treatment,” Sestak told The Post. “I also expect to pass comprehensive immigration reform including a path to citizenship for currently undocumented immigrants, which would result in their being eligible for the same programs as U.S. citizens as they await citizenship.”

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Joe Sestak
Sestak

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

While Rep. Gabbard is a co-sponsor of Jayapal’s Medicare for All legislation which would do just this, she does not have a specific position on this issue at this time, she told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

John Hickenlooper (Dropped out)

Former governor, Colorado

Hickenlooper is no longer running for president. “No, not necessarily under a government-run health plan,” Hickenlooper told The Post on June 19. “I would support a public/private sector approach to achieve this goal as it relates to undocumented residents, including continued federal partnership with states that provide coverage for low-income children and prenatal care regardless of status, and enabling undocumented immigrants to have access to state health exchanges. Ultimately, the solution is comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship.” But when asked whose plans would provide coverage for undocumented immigrations during the first Democratic debate, Hickenlooper raised his hand. He has not responded to a request for clarification.

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John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Jay Inslee

Governor, Washington state

Inslee did not provide an answer to this question.

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Jay Inslee
Inslee

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar did not provide an answer to this question.

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Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O'Rourke did not provide an answer to this question.

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Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

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Background Some single-payer health-care plans call for the federal government to fund the health insurance of the approximately 11 million undocumented people living in the United States.

How we compiled candidate positions

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic campaign asking whether they support various health-care policies. We organized candidates with similar stances into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town halls and other news reports. See something that we missed? Let us know.

The page will update to reflect candidates’ positions as they become more clear. We expect candidates to develop more detailed policy positions throughout the campaign, and this page will update as we learn more about their plans. We will also note if candidates change their position on an issue. At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president or an exploratory committee by March 13. The Post will reach out to additional candidates as they enter the race and then include them here.