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Kansas City immigrants struggle to access health care

Kansas City has an immigrant population of over 130,000 people that is growing every year, adding to the area's labor force and tax base. Still, a high percentage of immigrant residents can't get the medical care they need — including Selene Rocha, an immigrant living in Johnson County.

In Johnson County, Kansas, and Jackson County, Missouri, more than half of undocumented immigrants say they were uninsured between 2014 and 2016, according to a report published by the Migration Policy Institute. In Wyandotte County, about three-quarters reported the same.

Even immigrants who do have insurance are more likely to report skipping or delaying needed care. KCUR's Noah Taborda has that story.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Anna Schmidt and KCUR Studios, and edited by Madeline Fox and Gabe Rosenberg.

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Corrected: March 12, 2024 at 1:42 PM CDT
The audio and description for this episode has been updated. The story on immigrant health care incorrectly reported the percentage of undocumented immigrants in Wyandotte County who said they were uninsured. About three-quarters of the county's undocumented residents reported being uninsured between 2014-2016.
As a newscaster and a host of a daily news podcast, I want to deliver the most important and interesting news of the day in an engaging and easily understandable way. No matter where you live in the metro or what you’re interested in, I want you to learn something from each newscast or podcast – and maybe even give you something to talk about at the dinner table.
Anna Schmidt is the fall 2023 intern for KCUR Studios. She recently graduated from Kansas State University, where she was the Opinions Desk Editor for the Collegian student newspaper and took over the role of podcast host. You can email her at anna.schmidt@kcur.org.
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