Biden to Let 100,000 Migrants Enroll in Obamacare

( – On May 3, the Biden administration released a new directive that will allow about 100,000 migrants who came to the United States as children to enroll in the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance when the marketplace opens Nov. 1.

The directive, first proposed last April, will allow Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) participants to legally enroll in coverage by changing the definition of “lawfully present.” Despite former President Barack Obama launching the DACA initiative to protect the children brought into the U.S. illegally by their parents from deportation, they remained ineligible for government-subsidized health insurance programs even though they are allowed to work because, by definition, they did not have a “lawful presence” in the U.S.

While Biden’s rule change will open up the marketplace for 100,000 migrants just before the presidential election, the new rule fell short of his initial proposal, which would have allowed the migrants to enroll in Medicaid, which provides almost free coverage for health insurance for the poorest people in the country.

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said many DACA participants have delayed care because “they incur higher costs and debts.” He added that the rule change would allow them to “improve their health and well-being” as well as “strengthen the health and well-being” of the United States.

In a statement, Biden renewed calls for Congress to pass legislation to provide DACA participants with a pathway to citizenship, noting that he has directed the Department of Homeland Security to “preserve and fortify” DACA. He said the rule change provides DACA participants “the same access to health care through the Affordable Care Act as their neighbors.”

The move, criticized by Republicans, is seen by some as an attempt to boost Biden’s appeal with Latino voters.

In a statement, Karoline Leavitt, the spokesperson for former President Donald Trump’s campaign, criticized the rule change, saying Trump would “expand economic opportunity for American citizens, not illegal aliens.”

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