In an announcement on Thursday, April 13, President Biden unveiled plans to expand subsidized healthcare coverage to include recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program currently allows approximately 800,000 young individuals who were brought to the U.S. unlawfully as children to live and work in the country, but does not grant them legal status, making it challenging for them to access social services, including healthcare.
Under the proposal put forth by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), DACA recipients would be eligible to enroll in a healthcare plan through either Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. The HHS is expected to introduce a rule that broadens the definition of “lawful presence” to include DACA beneficiaries for subsidized coverage, effectively expanding their access to healthcare services.
In a video posted on Twitter, President Biden expressed his commitment to providing opportunities and support to Dreamers, as DACA recipients are often referred to. He emphasized that healthcare should be a right, not a privilege, and highlighted the need to protect and support Dreamers in their pursuit of healthcare access.
Today, my Administration is announcing our plan to expand health coverage for Dreamers, the thousands of young people brought to the U.S. as kids.
We’re not done fighting for their pathway to citizenship, but we’re getting them the opportunities they deserve in the meantime. pic.twitter.com/4eqNMMNxtt
— President Biden (@POTUS) April 13, 2023
The future of the DACA program has been uncertain due to a federal judge’s ruling in 2021 that deemed the program unlawful and barred first-time DACA applicants from applying. Currently, the same judge is reviewing the legality of a new version of the rule that went into effect last year. Despite these challenges, President Biden stated in the video statement that his administration will continue to take actions to protect Dreamers and push Congress to provide them and their families with a pathway to citizenship and the peace of mind they deserve.
President Biden’s announcement to expand subsidized healthcare coverage for DACA recipients through Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act reflects his commitment to providing support and opportunities to Dreamers. The proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services aims to broaden the definition of “lawful presence” to include DACA beneficiaries for subsidized coverage, prioritizing healthcare as a fundamental right. While the future of the DACA program remains uncertain, President Biden’s administration is determined to protect Dreamers and advocate for their pathway to citizenship.