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Family farmers call for tougher CAFO regulations in Farm Bill; The Midwest and Northeast brace for record high temperature in heatwave; Financial-justice advocates criticize crypto regulation bill; Ohio advocates: New rules strengthen protections for sexual-assault victims.

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The RNC kicks off its election integrity effort, Democrats sound a warning bell about conservatives' Project 2025, and Republicans suggest funding cuts to jurisdictions with legal cases against Trump.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Day of action focuses on CT undocumented residents' health care needs

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Wednesday, April 17, 2024   

Today, Connecticut health care advocates are holding a student day of action.

They will speak to state lawmakers about raising the age limit for undocumented immigrants eligible for HUSKY, the state's Medicare program. Undocumented people up to age 15 are eligible and the General Assembly is considering raising it to 18.

Yenimar Cortes, New Haven organizer for the group Connecticut Students for a Dream, said undocumented people not having health insurance is problematic.

"When it came to some stuff, like even a simple physical, my mom would have to like work and my dad would have to work like more shifts to be able to cover the costs," Cortes recounted. "It also meant getting sick was something we didn't want to do."

She added if they got sick, they would try home remedies before going to the hospital. Some people pay for visits out of pocket and take on medical debt. Some lawmakers opposed the age limit increase due to high costs, which studies estimated to be $83 million. However, the study noted expanding HUSKY could save hospitals between $63 million and $72 million.

Though uninsured rates fell during the pandemic, health officials are trying to ensure people maintain any coverage they have.

Luis Luna, coalition manager for the nonprofit HUSKY 4 Immigrants, said the pandemic helped advocates see the problem as a whole.

"It helped us see that health care is a fundamental human right," Luna asserted. "It helped us see that when people get sick and they don't take care of themselves their family suffers, and it helped us see that there's a really big disparity with health care access."

Several states have made health care affordable or available to undocumented immigrants. Luna added the hope is to make all immigrants, regardless of their status eligible for HUSKY.

A 2022 survey found most people support expanding HUSKY to all immigrants.


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