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Regional News

Connecticut budget includes expansion of Medicaid to undocumented children

A doctor holds a stethoscope.
Alex Proimos
/
Creative Commons
A doctor holds a stethoscope.

The HUSKY health program in Connecticut will now cover undocumented youth up to age 12, according to an off-year budget approved by the state General Assembly this week. Advocacy groups in the HUSKY for Immigrants Coalition are celebrating this latest victory and gearing up for more.

In 2021, HUSKY Health was made available to undocumented youth up to age 8. Pre- and post-natal care for undocumented pregnant women was also covered.

For Katia Dale, a health care campaign organizer for CT Students for a Dream, who work closely with undocumented youth, advocating for health care is personal and urgent.

“We've been in every different front to make sure that this is a priority for the legislators and to make sure that they don't forget us,” Daley said.

In April, the coalition led a week-long rally, protested on the steps of the state Capitol and gathered hundreds of people to provide testimony that supported access to health care for undocumented immigrants.

The legislation to make HUSKY Health accessible to undocumented youth under 18 did not make it out of committee. However, Carolina Bortolleto, co-leader of the HUSKY for Immigrants coalition, said every milestone matters — and every win along the way makes a difference between a child aging out of health care or not.

“And that's a big deal to families, that's a big deal to the kids,” she said.

They’re celebrating the latest expansion now, and mobilizing to advocate for stronger legislation.

“We know that this expansion is just the beginning. We will be coming back next legislative session to ask for more,” Daley said.

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