Biden to Open Obamacare to DACA Recipients

Illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children will be eligible later this year for federal health care coverage under the Biden administration.  

The White House announced a new rule Friday that allows Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to apply for health care under the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare.

The Biden administration estimates the plan will give “100,000 young people” living in America the opportunity to apply through and state-based marketplaces and receive health care for as little as $10 a month, according to the White House fact sheet on the rule.  

“’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.  

The DACA program was established under President Barack Obama’s administration in 2012 and protects illegal aliens brought to America as minors from deportation. The program also provides DACA recipients—dubbed “Dreamers”—with work permits, and according to Biden, more than 800,000 people have qualified for DACA since its inception.  

President Joe Biden called the new health care rule a “historic step to ensure that DACA recipients have the same access to health care through the Affordable Care Act as their neighbors.” 

“President Biden and Vice President [Kamala] Harris believe that health care should be a right, not a privilege,” according to a White House statement on the rule.  

“Biden and Harris ‘believe that health care should be a right’—that will have to be paid for by American taxpayers who didn’t vote for it,” Simon Hankinson, senior research fellow for the Border Security and Immigration Center at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal.  (The Heritage Foundation founded The Daily Signal in 2014.)

Hankinson called the program a “massive check written on borrowed money.” 

The DACA program has been controversial since it was established because, as Hankinson notes, even “President Biden admits ‘only Congress can provide permanent status and a pathway to citizenship.’”

Despite the recognition that it’s the job of Congress to legislate on immigration laws, Hankinson said, “time after time, [Biden] egregiously abuses executive authority to bring inadmissible aliens into the United States, allow them to remain here illegally, and access benefits meant for American citizens and legal residents.” 

Under the new rule, DACA recipients will be able to apply for health care beginning in November.