President Joe Biden is proposing a plan for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program to receive subsidized health care through Obamacare and Medicaid.
If the plan is finalized, illegal aliens who were brought to America as children will be eligible for the health care programs.
“[M]y administration is announcing our plan to expand health coverage for DACA recipients by allowing them to enroll in a plan through the Affordable Care Act or through Medicaid. Health care should be a right, not a privilege,” the president said Thursday in a brief video shared on Twitter.
Because only legal residents of the U.S. are eligible, Biden’s Department of Health and Human Services will propose a rule change to allow DACA recipients to receive health care under Obamacare. But health care experts and border security advocates say that changing the Obamacare policy to provide health care to DACA recipients is a poor use of taxpayer money and sets a bad precedent.
“If the intention is to create a back-door way to give taxpayer subsidies to illegal aliens, then it would not only be bad policy, but also contrary to Congress’ deliberate and intentional exclusion of illegal immigrants from Obamacare subsidies,” Ed Haislmaier, a senior research fellow in the Center for Health and Welfare Policy at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
Erin Dwinell, a senior research associate with the Border Security and Immigration Center at The Heritage Foundation, notes that Biden’s plan to provide health care to DACA recipients “prioritizes illegal aliens over U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.”
If the rule change is approved and DACA recipients, known as “Dreamers,” receive subsidized health care, “This is another slap in the face of those who came to the U.S. lawfully,” she said.
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., responded to the news on Twitter, writing, “Rewarding illegal immigration will bring more illegal immigration. This is an insult to American citizenship.”
While many conservative leaders are vocal in their opposition to Biden’s proposal, many on the Left praised the move.
“Dreamers deserve access to health coverage in the only country they call home,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., wrote in a tweet. “I applaud President Biden for this highly impactful policy change that will improve the lives of so many!”
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Twitter commended “President Biden for ensuring [DACA recipients] access to quality, affordable health care.”
In addition to announcing the health care plan, Biden said he and his administration will “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.”
According to Dwinell, there are as many as 800,000 people enrolled in the DACA program and providing them health care will likely lead to the Left further expanding the “populations receiving taxpayer health care to other groups of illegal aliens.”
“As the Biden administration expands benefits and promotes illegal immigration, legislators must block and defund their efforts at every possible turn,” Dwinell said. “They should pass meaningful legislation aimed at protecting our nation’s borders, ensuring our national security, and upholding the rule of law.”
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