Our Legislators must stand on the right side of history and increase funding for HUSKY access for immigrants in this year’s budget
On May 25th, with under 2 weeks left in the legislative session, CT’s immigrant community, Make the Road CT, Hartford Deportation Defense, and the HUSKY for Immigrants Coalition gathered at the Governor’s Mansion in Hartford to demand support for expanding HUSKY Health to immigrants up to age 26.
During the action, attendees tied “wish ribbons” on the gates of the Governor’s Mansion. Wish ribbons (or fitas) are a tradition in certain parts of Brazil. They are knotted three times to represent three wishes - traditionally tied on the gates of a specific church but now worn around the wrist. Tradition dictates that the ribbons should always be given and should always be tied on by another and that if you cut it off or remove it before it wears out, then your wishes will not come true.
Attendees spoke on behalf of the names of all family members and neighbors who have suffered because of lack of access to health care and asked the Governor to do the right thing and use his power to include funding to expand HUSKY to income-eligible undocumented people up to age 26 in this year’s budget.
The action comes after sustained overwhelming public support this session to raise the age for HUSKY eligibility to immigrants up to age 26, which would cost roughly 1% of the CT’s total Medicaid budget and cover about 5,000 young people currently living without access to health insurance.
In February, a 12 hour public hearing saw over 700 testimonies written in support and 200 people testifying in person or virtually in support of raising the age of HUSKY access to 25 and under. Earlier this month, over 550 healthcare providers signed a letter in support of expanding HUSKY to immigrants, which was delivered to the Governor and House and Senate Leadership. The Appropriations Budget currently includes funding only for immigrants up age of 15 - which advocates say is not enough to impact health equity.