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Benefits vs. Ethics? Re-Assessing Healthcare Access for the Undocumented in France – Stéphanie Larchanché

December 8, 2010 1 comment

Stéphanie Larchanché
IRIS-EHESS and Centre Françoise Minkowska, Paris

In March 2010, the French National Assembly voted to further limit healthcare access to the undocumented. Since 2001, State Medical Aid (AME) has provided undocumented immigrants living in France with free healthcare coverage. To be eligible for AME, one must provide proof of residence in France for a minimum of three months and evidence of limited monthly income (below 634 euros). Soon after this arrangement was created, however, additional restrictions were added as requirements for access to AME including presentation of a valid government-issued ID, presentation of a housing certificate – which can only be received via specific state-mandated social services – and a mandatory minimum service fee for health services. On March 2nd, 2010, following discussions on budget restrictions, center-right Assembly representative Dominique Tian proposed still more limitations on AME, including the addition of a 30 euro application fee and additional restrictions on covered healthcare services. According to Tian, «If one is willing to pay several thousands of euros to come to France, I doubt that a 30 euro application fee will prevent one from accessing care.»

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