In the final days of the legislative session in Albany last week, the State Senate passed a bill that would expand healthcare access to hundreds of thousands of low-income New Yorkers regardless of their immigration status. But the State Assembly ran out of time and adjourned without taking up the bill and now faces pressure to approve it when it returns to address unfinished business on June 20 and 21.
On Thursday, the Senate approved the “Coverage for All” legislation, sponsored by State Senator Gustavo Rivera, a Bronx Democrat and chair of the Senate’s health committee. The bill, which immigrant advocates have been pursuing for years, would expand healthcare access to more than 240,000 undocumented immigrants in the state, allowing them to enroll in New York State’s Essential Plan that gives low-income New Yorkers access to health insurance.
“The Assembly is expected to return to Albany so we’re counting on the broad support we’ve received from our legislative colleagues to pass this bill on the floor as we did in the Senate,” Rivera said in a statement to Gotham Gazette.