(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- State lawmakers and immigration and health advocates are pushing for legislation that would allow more non-citizen immigrants in Illinois to be able to receive healthcare coverage.
There are no programs in Illinois that provide health insurance coverage for this group of people between the ages of 19 and 41.
HB 1570 and SB 122 would close that gap.
Yevin An is a DACA recipient and University of Illinois-Chicago student who currently gets health care through her university.
“What happens when I graduate? I’ll be in the same position I was four years ago scared for my health and my financial security,” she said.
Former Illinois Public Health Director and current CEO of Sinai Chicago Ngozi Ezike says that without the ability to stay healthy and seek regular, preventive care, members of the immigrant community cannot maintain stable jobs, get their educations or care for their families at home.
“Ultimately, ours is a fight for health equity, health justice, if you will. Health coverage is the key factor in keeping our community healthy,” she said.
Esther Corpuz, the CEO of Alivio Medical Center, said her facility cares for a large undocumented population.
“We want, as Carmen would say, the whole enchilada. Everybody from 19 to 41 should be covered in Illinois, regardless of their immigration status,” she said.
State Rep. Lisa Hernandez says that, by expanding health care coverage, Illinois would be sending a message to the rest of the nation that health care is a fundamental right.
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