Sunday, May 19, 2024

White House extends health insurance access to ‘Dreamers’ 

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Under the rule, active recipients of DACA, called “Dreamers,” will be eligible to enroll in a qualified health plan or a basic health plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and some forms of financial assistance. 


The new rule comes after months of speculation over executive actions the Biden administration might take on immigration issues, from potentially cracking down on asylum at the border to making work permits available to certain immigrants living in the country illegally. 


Most of those potential actions are controversial to one side of the political spectrum or the other, but Dreamers, undocumented immigrants who arrived in the country as minors, have generally garnered broader public support than other undocumented groups. 


Immigration is a significant campaign issue this election season, and Biden’s efforts to give Dreamers health insurance stands in stark contrast to former President Trump, who has tried to end the program. 


“This final rule reflects the president’s key commitment to protecting ‘Dreamers’ and DACA recipients. He is focused on providing them with the support they need to thrive and reach their fullest potential,” Neera Tanden, director of the Domestic Policy Council, told reporters Thursday. 


“This final rule also reflects the president’s belief that health care is a right — not a privilege — for all Americans, that it should extend to DACA recipients just like the rest of us.” 


The new rule does not make DACA recipients eligible for Medicaid or parts of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, but they will be eligible for financial aid programs that are already available to noncitizens whose immigration status makes them ineligible for Medicaid but would otherwise qualify. 


“Dreamers are our loved ones, our nurses, teachers, and small business owners. And they deserve the promise of health care just like all of us,” Biden said in a statement Friday. 

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