Advocates Push NY State for Health Care for Undocumented Immigrants
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
NEW YORK - Undocumented immigrants aren't covered under the Affordable Care Act, leaving about 457,000 people ineligible for coverage in New York alone.
A new report from the Community Service Society, which advocates for impoverished New Yorkers, outlines what it calls "practical and affordable" ways to close the coverage gap.
The group's vice president of health initiatives, Elisabeth Benjamin, says covering more immigrants, even under the most expensive proposal, would cost less than one-half of one percent of the state's Medicaid budget.
"The extension of the 'Essential Plan,' which provides health coverage to people up to 200 percent of poverty. There would be 241,000 eligible New Yorker's eligible," says Benjamin. "We think 111,000 would potentially join and it would cost $462 million a year."
Benjamin adds people who are uninsured are more vulnerable to illness, death and economic ruin from expensive medical costs. She says those who have health coverage end up sharing the cost burden, through higher taxes, medical bills and insurance costs.
More importantly, says Benjamin, her group believes insuring people no matter what their immigration status is the right thing to do.
"We have lots of new Americans in New York State," says Benjamin. "They contribute substantially in taxes and in providing us great workers and so, it's sort of a matter of justice. It's only fair to treat our immigrant residents equally as other residents."
She notes under the Affordable Care Act, federal funding to offset hospital costs for the uninsured will gradually be reduced starting in 2017, so the state needs to plan for that. She says New York receives more of this funding than any other state.
get more stories like this via email
Voting advocates say more and more Michiganders are choosing to cast absentee ballots to save time and avoid long lines on Election Day. In 2020…
With the election a little over a month away, some say caregiving and long-term care are issues too big for candidates in Oregon to ignore. There …
Health and Wellness
COVID upended many routines, including Texas parents getting kids in for regularly scheduled childhood vaccines. Data from the Texas Department of …
Pennsylvania has a strong commitment to urban agriculture and community gardening, and some groups in the state are working to get more colorful …
Georgia Power is reducing its reliance on coal by phasing out several coal-fired units. However, clean-energy advocates say the company should …
A new report on Black students in the community college system found fewer are signing up to attend two-year schools, and the college enrollment …
Greenhouse gas emissions have been potentially reduced by 50,000 tons in the state, with the help of Wisconsin farmers supported by a statewide …
Social Security benefits again could see their highest increase in several decades, but those advocating for beneficiaries say there is still plenty …