Rosario Tepoz arrived in Connecticut from Mexico 10 years ago with a 2-year-old son. Six years later, Tepoz had a daughter, born in Connecticut and, as a result, born into citizenship in the United States.

Today, her children face completely different realities when it comes to accessing medical care.

“I have two children. One has health insurance, and one does not have health insurance, and this hurts me in my soul. They themselves have lived and understand what this means,” testified Tepoz in a public hearing on Thursday.

A bill currently under review by the Human Services committee seeks to assist children like Tepoz’s son by expanding medical insurance coverage to all children under the age of 19, regardless of immigration status.

Tepoz’s son, who is 12 years old and attends the Montessori Magnet School in Hartford, does not qualify for health insurance because he was not born in the U.S. For his entire life, his medical care has consisted of infrequent visits to pediatricians and dentists. Any time he gets sick, Tepoz takes him straight to the emergency room, resulting in more hospital bills for the family.