Compromise on Coverage for Legal Immigrants?

Aides to House and Senate leaders say there's a deal to provide $40 million dollars for continuing health coverage for legal immigrants. Governor Patrick had asked lawmakers to restore $70 million for this effort in the budget. But lawmakers are reluctant to go that far because state revenue are still coming in short of expectations. Some advocates are praising legislative leaders for carving out at least $40m. Others say it's not enough, and it seems the administration agrees. Spokeswoman for Administration and Finance Cyndi Roy says, "while we appreciate this statement of support, our analysis shows that the level of funding appropriated is not sufficient to maintain meaningful coverage or to develop a scaled back program." $40m is less than one third of what the state currently spends on subsidized coverage for these residents. The House and Senate are scheduled to debate this issue tomorrow.

Martha Bebinger

This program aired on July 28, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.


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