Advocates push for health insurance for all children in RI, regardless of immigration status – Uprise RI
Representative David Morales and senator Sandra Cano called for the adoption of their legislation (H5714 / S0576) at a State House press conference on Thursday to ensure that all low-income children, regardless of their immigration status, are eligible for health insurance under the Rite treatments program. The legislation “would establish Rhode Island’s commitment to provide health insurance to all state resident children, regardless of immigration status.” It would provide for the earmarking of state funds to pay for coverage if federal funds are not available. “
“As we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot afford to leave children without health care,” said Representative Morales (Democrat, District 7, Providence). “All public health is at risk when there are people who cannot get health care when they need it. But above all, health care is a human right and all children deserve safety. Healthy children should be a high priority in Rhode Island. “
RIte Care is the state’s Medicaid program for children, providing health care coverage to people under the age of 19 whose family income does not exceed 250% of the federal poverty line. Rhode Island covered all children, regardless of status, for almost 10 years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and it’s time to restore that commitment to all children, Rep. Morales said. , Senator Cano and many children’s advocates.
Currently, there are approximately 3,000 uninsured children in our state who are not enrolled in RIte Care and are unable to access the health services they need. Expanding coverage would allow parents to take their children to doctors for preventive care, see specialists if needed, and purchase essential drugs that can help lower higher health costs for the state. because if children are hospitalized, hospital bills are covered by Medicaid, with the state paying its required share.
But more importantly, said Sen. Cano (Democrat, District 8, Pawtucket), children should not suffer because of their legal status or socio-economic background. In addition to not getting the health care that children need as they grow older, children without health insurance may not receive emergency care because their families may fear their status will be discovered. . Having coverage for children regardless of their immigration status would help alleviate some of these fears, keep children healthier, and prevent preventable illnesses.
“Every child needs regular health care,” said Senator Cano. “Of course they should have vaccines, developmental attention and medical treatment when they are sick. We are stronger and safer when everyone in Rhode Island has the health care they need. . “
The bill enjoys strong support from more than 20 organizations, including Rhode Island CHILDREN ACCOUNT, Institute of Economic Progress, and The Latino Policy Institute.
“In 2019, 98.1% of children in Rhode Island had health insurance coverage and Rhode Island ranked second for children’s health insurance coverage,” said Elizabeth burke bryant, executive director of Rhode Island KIDS COUNT. “To achieve our goal of covering all children, we need to restore access to RIte Care health insurance for income-eligible children who are undocumented immigrants. All children need access to health care that promotes their healthy growth and development and promotes academic success.
Linda katz, Policy Director of the Economic Progress Institute (PEV) mentionned, “COVID-19[feminine a renforcé à quel point nous sommes interconnectés et interdépendants. Veiller à ce que tous les enfants du Rhode Island aient accès à des soins de santé complets grâce à l’inscription à RIte Care aide non seulement ces jeunes, mais nous protège tous. EPI a hâte de travailler avec le représentant Morales et le sénateur Cano pour promulguer cette législation. »
“Over the past year, we have witnessed the impacts of health disparities on the educational and economic outcomes of our most vulnerable Black and Latino communities,” said Marcela Betancur, director of the Latino Policy Institute. “Ensuring that our youngest Rhode Islanders have access to health coverage is a public health issue that we cannot continue to ignore. “
The House bill was introduced on February 24 with more than 20 cosponsors and was referred to the House Finance Committee. The Senate bill was introduced on March 11 and was handed over to the Senate Finance Committee.
Other State House Rally speakers included a member of the Central Falls City Council Glendaliz Colon:
Merrill thomas, President and CEO of Providence Community Health Centers (PCHC):
Activist Sucely Murillo:
David Veliz, coordinator and organizer of the Rhode Island Interfaith Coalition:
Cecily ziegler of Rhode Island Dorcas International Institute:
Dr. Patricia flanagan, MD, representing the American Academy of Pediatrics:
Representative Karen alzate (Democrat, District 60, Pawtucket):