Advocates rally for health care regardless of immigration status

Activists from the New York State Immigration Coalition gathered with dozens of supporters in Albany on Wednesday to call on the Legislature to pass a health care bill known as “Coverage for All.” The bill would allow an undocumented person to enroll in New York’s “essential plan” if they qualify.

The Essential plan is a low-cost option in the New York State healthcare market that has no monthly premium. The rationale for the bill says it would extend coverage to 400,000 people who are currently ineligible due to their immigration status.

Murad Awawdeh, executive director of the New York State Immigration Coalition, said immigrants of all professions are essential to day-to-day operations in the state and should be respected as such.

“Our budget is a moral document. He shares our values,” Awawdeh said.

“We cannot continue to have our community, which is on the front lines fighting COVID, on the front lines maintaining our condition, excluded from health care.”

Assm. Richard Gottfried, a Democrat from Manhattan, sponsors this bill. He said the budget showed a large surplus this year, making it a good time to change the law.

“It’s absolutely crucial that coverage for all and fair pay for home care are in the budget because they both cost a lot of money, there’s no hiding that fact, and if that isn’t in the budget, so that’s not going to happen. year,” Gottfried said.

Fair Pay for Home Care is a separate bill that Gottfried is also sponsoring. The measure raises the minimum wage for home healthcare workers to 150% of the minimum wage per zone. When it comes to resistance to health care expansion, Gottfried said one of the main points of resistance is cost.

“Resistance is simply about money,” Gottfried said.

“We have a big surplus in the budget this year, but that means there are a lot of people asking for more money for everything under the sun. So it’s a matter of priorities.

Gottfreid said that the ultimate goal of health care is the adoption of New York Health Lawbut he is looking to take gradual steps in the meantime.

In the Assembly, the Coverage for All Bill is currently sitting on the Ways and Means Committee, and in the Senate, on the Finance Committee. The state budget is expected on April 1.

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