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Biden Plans to Expand Healthcare Coverage to Dreamers

Apr 13, 2023

Dreamers Are American Protest Sign

President Biden on Thursday announced plans to expand subsidized healthcare coverage to include recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

DACA allows an estimated 800,000 young people who were brought to the U.S. unlawfully as children to live and work in the U.S. The program does not grant legal status, however, making it difficult for so-called Dreamers to access social services.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposal would allow DACA recipients to enroll in a healthcare plan through Medicaid or the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

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The HHS is expected to introduce a rule that broadens the definition of “lawful presence” to include DACA beneficiaries for subsidized coverage.

“We need to give Dreamers the opportunities and support they deserve,” said Biden in a video posted to Twitter. “Healthcare should be a right, not a privilege.”

A federal judge ruled in 2021 that the program was unlawful and barred first time DACA applicants from applying. The future of the program remains uncertain while the same judge reviews the legality of a new version of the rule that went into effect last year.

“We’ll continue to do what we can to protect Dreamers and push Congress to give them and their families a pathway to citizenship and ultimately the peace of mind they all deserve,” Biden said in the video statement.

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