Massachusetts Immigrants Maybe. Poor, Doubtful

20080801newsdevalpatrick2Baltimore A compromise of sorts seems to have been reached in Massachusetts to provide some form of health coverage for the 31,000 LEGAL immigrants in the state that had been bounced off the rolls as a cost savings measure.  The other victim of this cost cutting were the poor families whose automatic enrollment in the program ceased so that the state could save an equal amount of money by forcing them to go through the arduous application process for benefits and cynically knowing that enough families would not be able to navigate the bureaucracy that that they would save $65 million in that way.  Immigrant groups like the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition saw this as a “temporary” solution and a not totally satisfactory one.  Voices for the poor on their being the brunt of the other part of this cost saving were silent, as near as I can tell, yet this is a life and death question for them as well.

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Massachusetts to Poor: Gotcha!

patrick_deval_764New Orleans Funding problems in Massachusetts has led the state to announce that barring some deal or injection of funds, Commonwealth Care, the mandatory state health plan will stick it to two groups:  legal immigrants and the poor who can be confused.

There is already a righteous uproar about 35000 legal immigrants that are arbitrarily being denied coverage, solely because they are immigrants.  The Massachusetts Immigrant Rights Alliance (MIRA) and others have already raised their voices appropriately that this is outrageous and Governor Duval Patrick seems to be responding.  I will leave this to them.

But since the poor have been voiceless and the issue goes right squarely to the heart of my frequent discussion raised in my book, Citizen Wealth, I’m going to slam my fist on that table, because, if anything, it may be even more reprehensible.

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