BY RAFAEL BERNAL – 04/13/23 9:50 AM ET, The Hill
The Biden administration on Thursday rolled out a plan to expand health care access for beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Under the plan, DACA recipients will become eligible to apply for Medicaid and to enroll in Affordable Care Act (ACA) insurance exchanges.
DACA beneficiaries are not currently eligible for those benefits because their immigration status does not meet the current definition of “lawful presence” required to enroll in Medicaid and the ObamaCare exchanges.
Under the administration’s plan, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is preparing a new rule to amend that definition by the end of the month.
“President Biden believes that DACA recipients strengthen our economy and enrich our workplaces, our schools and communities, and our country as a whole,” the White House said in a statement on Thursday.
“That’s why on his first day in office, he called on Congress to give Dreamers a pathway to citizenship and he has repeated that call every State of the Union address since. While Congress has failed to act, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken significant measures to protect Dreamers.”
The measure will be a significant expansion for the DACA program, which allows some Dreamers — immigrants who arrived in the country as minors — to live and work in the United States.
“Dreamers come from every corner of this planet, but the United States is their home. They are students, teachers, social workers, doctors, nurses, and more importantly, they are Americans,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra.
“But, of the nearly 580,000 Dreamers who arrived in this country as children and currently have DACA protections, an estimated 34 percent do not have health insurance coverage. Today’s rule would change that.”
It’s a boon for DACA beneficiaries, who face both the threat that the program could end and reduced access to social services where they do not meet the lawful presence requirements.
Though the expansion will benefit the program’s 580,000 existing beneficiaries, their universe is decreasing as younger Dreamers are ineligible to apply — eligible beneficiaries must have arrived by 2007 — and courts have blocked new applicants from accessing the program.
Read the full article here: Biden announces Medicaid, ObamaCare access for DACA recipients | The Hill