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Daily Audio Newscast - April 17, 2024

News from around the nation.

Audio file

Day of action focuses on Connecticut undocumented's healthcare needs; 7 jurors seated in first Trump criminal trial; North Dakota looks to ease 'upskill' obstacles for former college students; Black Maternal Health Week ends, health disparities persist.


The Public News Service Daily Newscast, April the 17th, 2024.

I'm Mike Clifford.

First to Connecticut, where today, health care advocates are holding a student day of action.

They'll speak to state lawmakers about raising the age limit for undocumented immigrants eligible for the state's Medicare program, Husky.

Undocumented people up to age 15 are eligible.

The General Assembly is considering raising it to 18.

Yanimar Cortez with CT Students for a Dream says undocumented people not having health insurance is problematic.

When it came to like even some stuff like a simple physical, my mom would have to like work, or my dad would have to work like more shifts to be able to cover the cost.

And so it also meant like getting sick was something that we didn't want to do.

She adds if they got sick, they'd try home remedies before going to the hospital.

Some people pay for these visits out of pocket and take on medical debt.

Some lawmakers oppose the age limit increase due to high costs.

Studies estimate the cost at $83 million.

However, expanding Husky can save hospitals between $63 and $72 million.

I'm Edwin J. Vieira.

Several states have made health care affordable or available to undocumented immigrants.

Meantime, seven people have been seated on the jury in the trial against former President Donald Trump in Manhattan.

CNN reports the court is not in session Wednesday and jury selection will continue Thursday.

Trump was frequently seen flipping through the jury questionnaire, often leaning back in his chair.

CNN notes that Trump attorney Tom Blanch challenged several prospective jurors, calling for some to be dismissed for cause due to social media posts.

And this summer, colleges and universities will have to comply with a new federal rule and not withhold students' transcripts over unpaid tuition and fees.

The U.S. Education Department says starting July 1st, higher ed institutions can't refuse to turn over transcripts related to any course paid for by federal student loans or grants.

These situations are prompted by overdue book fees or other school debt.

North Dakota University Systems' Lisa Johnson says for a person looking to re-enroll or apply for a new job, overcoming these obstacles can be huge in resuming their career efforts.

We're trying to attract returning adults, individuals who have stopped out.

This really has to be a part of your focus.

North Dakota's system isn't designed to issue partial transcripts.

Johnson expects the state to honor the release of transcripts for all situations involving an outstanding balance.

A formal vote is expected this spring.

In those cases, Johnson says a person can try to work with the campus on a repayment plan or seek out opportunities at other schools that include certificate programs that are more financially feasible.

I'm Mike Moen.

Beyond wiping out the minor balances, advocates say the schools within the North Dakota system are being proactive in working with former students looking to pay off their debt.

This is Public News Service.

Now to the Lone Star State, where work is being done in rural areas in Texas where students are prepared for the workforce even if they intend to stay put after graduation.

Details now in this Daily Yonder, Texas News Connection collaboration.

One new study shows only 31 percent of adults in non-metro areas have a degree from a junior college or university.

The nonprofit Jobs for the Future creates opportunities for the education system and local businesses to work together in hopes of increasing that number.

The organization's Susan Jenis says there are three key changes leaders in rural areas could make to improve training for students.

Strategy number one, build on your local strengths and context.

Strategy number two is thinking about how to prioritize inclusive economic development.

And then finally, the third strategy was around embedding remote opportunities.

I'm Freda Ross reporting.

And folks in Kentucky have less than a week to register to vote in next month's primary election.

If folks miss the April 22nd deadline, they can still register to vote in the presidential election this fall.

Voters will need to bring a photo ID to the polls.

A list of acceptable forms of identification is on the Secretary of State's website.

Weinstein adds the website includes personalized information about registration and what's on the ballot.

We will be posting what are called voter guides.

So the candidates will be filling out questionnaires so voters can have a better sense of the candidates' positions before going to the polls.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Election Day, May 21st, and early voting runs from May 16th through the 18th.

This year, Kentuckians will vote for state, legislative, and local offices, nominate candidates for Congress, and choose their pick for the next U.S. president.

Nadia Ramligan reporting.

Finally, Eric Tengedorf points out while Black Maternal Health Week is wrapping up, health disparities for pregnant Black women continue to be an issue.

From April 11th to 17th this year, the high death rate of Black mothers is in the spotlight.

Black women are three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than their white counterparts.

Family physician Dr. Patricia Aguatu at Kaiser Permanente in Seattle says racism is at the root of these disparities, which create barriers to health care access.

She says lack of access can lead to problems during pregnancy that are preventable or treatable.

But they may exist prior to pregnancy, and then it gets worse during pregnancy if it's not managed as part of that maternity care.

So there are more pregnant women that have chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease that are amplified during pregnancy.

This is Mike Clifford for Public News Service.

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