PNS Daily Newscast - May 27, 2020 

Four Minneapolis police officers fired following the death of a black man; and a federal lawsuit claims New Yorkers with disabilities excluded from expanded absentee ballot plan.

2020Talks - May 27, 2020 

Republican governors in Georgia and Florida offer their states as alternatives to North Carolina, after President Trump expresses impatience about talks of a more limited Republican National Convention because of the pandemic.

“No Docs without Documents” Law Hurting Colorado’s Health?

September 24, 2007

Denver, CO – Thousands of low-income Coloradans are struggling to get medical care because of a federal Medicaid law requiring proof of citizenship. Colorado family advocates say the identification rule is unnecessary, since no one in this state is receiving care who shouldn't be.

Elisabeth Arenales with the Colorado Center on Law and Policy says the new ID rules for Medicaid enrollment have done nothing positive since they took effect last year.

"As a state, we have spent about $1.5 million to implement these new requirements and we have found zero people in the program who should not be there as a result of this provision."

However, Arenales adds, the requirements have become barriers to enrollment for thousands of legally eligible people in Colorado and nationwide.

"It's very difficult, particularly for lower-income families, to get the identification records they need for medical care. They might have to track down an official birth certificate from their state-of-origin, and they have to have the money to pay for that."

The new rule was intended to purge illegal immigrants from the rolls, but Arenales says it's been a solution to a nonexistent problem.

"Coverage is being delayed or denied to children throughout the country, and these children are clearly citizens. They just can't produce these narrowly-prescribed forms of documentation."

Opponents of the rule hope the State Children's Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) reauthorization bill now in Congress will include an option for states to verify citizenship electronically during Medicaid enrollment. Many say that is a much speedier way to get people necessary coverage to which they are entitled. Congress may consider the bill this week.

Eric Mack/John Robinson, Public News Service - CO