Tag: Massachusetts ethnic media

BostonImmigration NewsLatino

New Massachusetts State Budget Eliminates Health Coverage for 28,000 Legal Immigrants

Hispanic News Briefs From New England Newspapers

By Pedro Pizano, FI2W contributor
Siglo 21 Massachusetts newspaper

Siglo 21 newspaper

BOSTON, Mass. — The state Senate is seeking $130 million in savings by kicking “aliens with special status” out of Commonwealth Care, a subsidized insurance program for low-income residents, according to the National Center for Policy Analysis. The program will save an additional $63 million by no longer automatically enrolling new low-income residents.

The “aliens with special status” are 28,000 documented immigrants who have had a green card for less than five years. They will be left without health coverage from Commonwealth Care after August 1.

The Massachusetts Hospital Association says the $130 million cut will bring additional costs to the hospitals that provide free care to people with low incomes. They say those hospitals would need to spend an additional $87 million in 2009 to treat those who lose their coverage, according to the NCPA.

Although Gov. Deval Patrick approved the budget cut for the 2010 fiscal year on July 1st, he also submitted separate legislation to restore $70 million to Commonwealth Care. This program is central to the nearly universal health care law enacted here in 2006 that achieved the nation’s lowest percentage of uninsured residents: 2.6 percent compared to a national average of 15 percent.

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BostonImmigration News

Mass. Governor Meets Ethnic Media Over In-State Tuition, Driver's Licenses, Immigration Reform

Gov. Deval Patrick and Frank Herron, director of the Center on Media and Society at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. (Photo: E. de Oliveira)

Gov. Deval Patrick and Frank Herron, director of the Center on Media and Society at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. (Photo: E. A. de Oliveira)

By Eduardo A. de Oliveira, EthnicNEWz.org and FI2W reporter

Proclaiming that, “we need immigration laws that are consistent with our values,” Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick held a wide-ranging press conference with ethnic media journalists at the State House in Boston.  At the meeting, last Friday, the governor defended the creation of partnerships with immigrant communities, answered questions on topics such as bilingual education and driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, and commented on race relations under President Barack Obama.

The audience of about fifty journalists –more than 35 from immigrant communities– came from African-American, Brazilian, Chinese, Haitian, Japanese, Korean, Latino, Polish, Portuguese and other print, broadcast and Web media.

The governor made brief remarks at the opening of the press conference, saying democracy thrives when it maintains an unfiltered press. He then opened the floor to the journalists’ questions on topics from “anywhere in your agenda you want,” he said.

At least one topic formed a common thread for many of the journalists: access to driver’s licenses for undocumented workers, many of whom contribute to the state economy and pay taxes.

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