House Democrats say any health care bill should give illegal immigrants some access to medical care.
The Washington Times reported that the Democrats said it is "unfair" to bar illegal immigrants from buying their own private health insurance plans, and that it would keep them from getting routine care in emergency rooms.
"Legal permanent residents should be able to purchase their plans, and they should also be eligible for subsidies if they need it," said Rep. Michael M. Honda, D-Calif. "Undocumented, if they can afford it, should be able to buy their own private plans. It keeps them out of the emergency room."
Honda, along with 20 others expressed their demands in two letters stating that illegal immigrants should be allowed to pay for health insurance if they can afford it.
President Obama has said in the past that people who are in the U.S. illegally should not get coverage.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said he opposes giving such privileges to those who are in the United States illegally.
"If anybody can, with a straight face, advocate that we should provide health insurance for people who broke into our country, broke our law and for the most part are criminals, I don't know where they ever would draw the line," he said.
The bill drawn up by Senator Max Baucus, D- Mont., specifically excludes illegal immigrants.