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Connecticut Legislature discusses bill to expand health care access for undocumented children

The Connecticut state Capitol building in Hartford.
Danielle Wedderburn
The Connecticut state Capitol building in Hartford.

A bill in Connecticut would allow undocumented immigrants access to the state’s Medicaid program, known as HUSKY.

Connecticut state Senator Matt Lesser is looking to help expand HUSKY to allow anyone under age 18.

“Not only is it the right thing to do, but it’s fiscally responsible to make sure that kids in Connecticut can go to a doctor when they’re sick,” said Lesser.

Catalina Ortiz is a mother of three from Guatemala, but has lived in Hartford for a decade.

She said her 12-year-old daughter is unable to access health care coverage and wants access to HUSKY.

“It’s very hard for our family when one of the kids doesn’t have insurance and the other ones do,” said Ortiz. “It’s very unfair when I have to tell them that some of them have opportunities and the other ones don’t.”

Last year, the state approved a measure allowing children 8 years old and younger, regardless of their immigration status, to qualify for the program.

That goes into effect in 2023.

Mike Lyle is a former reporter and host at WSHU.