Biden’s Bold Move: Extending Health Coverage to Dreamers!

"Biden Administration Proposes Greater Health Insurance Access for Dreamers"

The Biden administration is proposing a rule that aims to provide greater access to health insurance for immigrants known as Dreamers. These individuals were brought to the United States as children by undocumented parents. The proposal would allow participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or Daca, to access health insurance under Medicaid and Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges.

President Joe Biden took to Twitter to express his support for the proposed rule, stating that healthcare should be a right and that he has worked hard to get more Americans health insurance than ever before. He added that the move would give Dreamers the same opportunities. The proposed rule comes as efforts to further protect Dreamers stalls in Congress and faces legal challenges.

The Obama-era 2012 Daca program grants protection from deportation and work permits to about 580,000 people who were enrolled as of last year. An expansion would allow Daca recipients to enroll in coverage under the joint federal-state Medicaid program or through private insurers participating in the exchanges established by the 2010 ACA law passed under Democratic then President Barack Obama and Biden, his vice-president.

According to data from the healthcare policy organization Kaiser Family Foundation, eight US states have already expanded state insurance access to health coverage regardless of immigration status. Biden promised during his 2020 presidential campaign to protect Dreamers and their families after Republican then President Donald Trump tried to end Daca.

Biden this week said he plans to seek a second four-year term but has not formally announced his re-election bid. In a video, the president reiterated his call for Congress to establish a pathway to citizenship for Daca recipients, adding that while they work toward that goal, they need to give Dreamers the opportunities and the support they deserve.

One source familiar with the plan said it could take months or longer to finalize through the federal regulatory process. Democratic representative Pramila Jayapal, chair of the congressional progressive caucus, which last month urged the administration to expand access, called the move “a long overdue step toward immigrant justice”.

Republicans, however, have cast doubt on Daca and other immigration reforms. Texas and other US states with Republican attorneys general are challenging the program in court. The proposed rule is a step towards the Biden administration’s promise to protect Dreamers and their families, but it still faces challenges and may take time to finalize.

In a country where healthcare access is a contentious issue, this proposal could provide much-needed relief to a vulnerable population. The pandemic has highlighted the importance of healthcare access, and it is heartening to see the government taking steps towards providing it to those who need it most. The proposed rule is a step towards a more equitable society, and it is important that it is implemented in a timely and effective manner.

Martin Reid

Martin Reid

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