In response to ongoing email chains and rumors inspired from claims by some Republicans and anti-immigration zealots like Lou Dobbs that the new State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Re-authorization Act of 2009 includes benefits for undocumented immigrant children, OhMyGov! decided to conduct an investigation and set the record straight.
Our initial review found that the media monitoring group, Media Matters, had already noted an onslaught of rumor perpetuation on CNN.
On the February 4 broadcast of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, correspondent Lisa Sylvester again uncritically reported Republican claims that legislation extending the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) -- signed that day by President Obama - ‘loosens the identity document requirement so that even people living in the United States illegally might be able to access the program.' Introducing the report, host Lou Dobbs also stated that ‘opponents say it will make it easier for illegal aliens to receive taxpayer-funded health insurance.' During the report, onscreen text read: 'Healthcare For Illegal Aliens,' and 'New law may give healthcare to illegal aliens.' However, neither Sylvester nor Dobbs mentioned that the legislation includes a citizenship verification process in which states would use SCHIP applicants' names and Social Security numbers to verify that they are eligible, as Media Matters for America has noted.
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