Mass. Court announces key ruling on immigrant health care
United States, 13th May: A recent decision announced by Massachusetts court restoring health care rights to thousands of legal immigrants in this US state has won many a hearts.
Mass. Court decision gets accolades from immigrant advocates--The ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the highest court of the US state Massachusetts is being applauded by immigrant advocates in the US. The court maintained that denying legal immigrants from getting subsidized health care services is a sheer violation of the constitution of the state.
Prior to this ruling, several foreigners living in the US with legal rights were not provided with health coverage since the year 2009 when a state legislation had stopped health care rights to foreigners due to their US immigration status.
The cut in the health care for nearly 26,000 legal immigrants in the state was done after elimination of $130 million funds for health care program by lawmakers of Massachusetts in a bid to keep the budget balanced.
Decision paves way for legal suit—Although, the ruling by Mass. Court does not announce reinstating full health coverage rights for legal immigrants in this state, however, it does lay the ground for initiation of any legal pursuit by immigrant advocates resulting in making it a ruling.
While delivering the decision in the Mass. Court, Associate Justice Francis X. Spina had written that despite having knowledge of the financial effects of this decision on Massachusetts which is already short of funds, the court gives top priority to laws.
He added that financial considerations cannot be allowed to interfere in the legal pursuits. The court maintained that state legislations found to be discriminating against legal US immigrants in terms of economic benefits are liable to scrutiny.
According to executive director of Health Law Advocates( a public interest law firm based in Boston that had filed the suit representing immigrants), Matt Selig, the decision of the court states that by denying health care rights to the legal US immigrants, this US state has discriminated against a protected group.
Core values of Massachusetts upheld by Mass. Court ruling--The decision by the Mass. Court has proved that the state must provide equal health care to all legal residents, states executive director of Health Care For All, an advocacy group, Amy Whitcomb Slemmer. She added that legal immigrants have the same rights to health care as the citizens of the US.