Connector Says Health Cuts For Immigrants Reflect National Policy

The Connector makes the legal case for cutting health benefits for legal immigrants
The Connector makes the legal case for cutting health benefits for legal immigrants

Cutting health care to thousands of legal immigrants in Massachusetts serves a compelling government interest and furthers national immigration policy, according to court motions filed today by lawyers representing the state’s Connector Authority, which oversees the state’s landmark health insurance law.

In the motion, the agency asked that the full Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court consider the challenge by legal immigrants to a 2009 state law that excluded them from receiving full benefits through the state’s subsidized health insurance program and barred many others from receiving any coverage.

The full court ruled in early May that the exclusions likely violate the state’s constitution, and sent the case back to Associate Justice Robert J. Cordy for a final decision.

The Connector argues that "adopting the federal policy would better align Massachusetts’ subsidized health insurance program with national policy," The Globe reports.

But Matt Selig, executive director of Health Law Advocates, the Boston public interest firm that filed the suit on behalf of the immigrants, told the Globe that there was no evidence that lawmakers were interested in federal immigration law when they cut benefits in 2009 during budget negotiations.

We think because of the harm caused to our clients, the harm to their health and their constitutional rights, we think this case should be resolved as quickly as possible,” Selig said.

Read the documents here and here.

This program aired on June 24, 2011. 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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