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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

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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