Immigrants Barred From Health Plan Sue State

A group of legal immigrants filed a class action lawsuit today challenging the constitutionality of the state's decision to exclude thousands of immigrants from its subsidized health care program.

According to The Boston Globe story by Kay Lazar:

The lawsuit charges that the state’s Connector Authority and its executive director, Jon Kingsdale, violated the immigrants’ right to equal protection under the state and federal constitutions when the administrators last year cut their health coverage through the Commonwealth Care program because of a tight state budget.

The Connector oversees the state’s 2006 landmark health law that created Commonwealth Care, which provides lower-cost insurance for low-income residents. Dick Powers, a spokesman for the Connector, said the authority had no comment on the lawsuit.

“You can’t violate people’s constitutional rights just because you don’t have the funds,’’ said Matt Selig, executive director of Health Law Advocates, a Boston-based public interest law firm that is assisting the immigrants in the suit.

This program aired on February 26, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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Rachel Zimmerman Reporter
Rachel Zimmerman previously reported on health and the intersection of health and business for WBUR. She is working on a memoir about rebuilding her family after her husband’s suicide. 



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