What They Are Saying: Organizations Celebrate Biden-Harris Admin Expanding Affordable Health Care For DACA Recipients
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 14, 2023
PRESS CONTACT: Olivia Eggers, (860) 913-1890, [email protected]
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: ORGANIZATIONS CELEBRATE BIDEN-HARRIS ADMIN EXPANDING AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE FOR DACA RECIPIENTS
Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, the Biden-Harris Administration announced that DACA recipients will now have access to Medicaid and Affordable Care Act programs. This is a historic action that will mean these young people can get the care they need at prices they can afford. See below for more from organizations celebrating the administration’s actions:
“Everyone deserves access to quality, affordable health care — and today’s announcement brings us another step closer to that reality. DACA recipients will now have access to the lower costs and more affordable health care coverage that President Biden has delivered for hard-working families. This expanded eligibility for Medicaid and Affordable Care Act programs is a significant victory that will improve the lives of DACA recipients and their families.
“As we celebrate today’s announcement, we know there is also more work to be done: it is unacceptable that these young people are living court case to court case as their future remains in limbo. Now, it’s on Congress to provide not only greater protections but a pathway to citizenship for all DACA recipients.”
“The Biden-Harris administration’s decision to expand health care access for DACA recipients is a transformative one that will not only enhance the quality of life for thousands of DACA recipients but also save lives. Health care is a human right, and as the most powerful country in the world, our elected officials must do all they can to protect and expand this right.
“Like all Americans, DACA recipients are tax-paying individuals who contribute to our nation’s economy in communities across the country, and they have every right to access quality, affordable health care. This change is welcomed news for thousands of immigrants, especially undocumented communities, who delay or go without needed care because of the limited access to health care coverage options. This is also a signal that the Biden-Harris administration is doing what’s right for the immigrant community. We applaud the Biden-Harris administration for their decision to expand health care access for DACA recipients.”
“Immigrants drive American innovation and growth; they are the engine of opportunity that keeps our country going. They have long been essential to the prosperity of this nation. Unfortunately, a 2021 survey of people with DACA found that 34 percent are living without any health insurance.
“Healthcare should be a right for all, especially given immigrants contribute to healthcare programs. We applaud the expansion of critical healthcare programs to DACA recipients. Now we must work together to create structural changes to fully include immigrants that contribute so much to our country’s being.
“Congress must act; we need results as soon as possible, and our communities can not wait. While this is a welcome step forward, we know that the key to unlocking our country’s full potential, to keep the promise of its greatness, is to provide a full pathway to citizenship to those who contribute so much to the United States.”
“Today’s announcement by the Biden Administration is exactly the kind of action that is needed and a sign of what’s possible when there is the political will. Amidst plenty of depressing news on the immigration policy front, it’s worth celebrating positive developments, such as today’s announcement from the Biden Administration about ACA eligibility and other policies providing Dreamers and longtime undocumented residents opportunities to more fully participate in the country they call home and for which they are already doing so much.
Hundreds of thousands of Dreamers have benefitted from DACA’s protections and built lives, careers, and families here. Yet, they remain in limbo, unable to plan for their future here or have a sense of permanency. Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are obstructing a popular legislative breakthrough two decades in the making that provides a way for Dreamers to officially become American citizens.
We thank the many organizations and leaders who pushed for this policy alongside every Dreamer who in their daily lives make the case for why expanding their opportunities and ultimately a pathway to citizenship remains so important.”
“My family is just one of tens of thousands of mixed status families with a DACA recipient. Being able to access affordable healthcare is a huge benefit that will only increase the quality of life for me and my family. We will be unafraid to go to a simple doctor check-up and have the cost break our savings. We can plan out our future a little more with stability, rather than living on the edge. Having access to affordable healthcare was always seen as a luxury when it shouldn’t be. Opportunities for DACA recipients and other Dreamers is not just a good thing for families like mine but for our entire country.”
“As the pandemic made clear, the health of our communities depends on all of us having access to quality care. The Affordable Care Act and Medicaid are a lifeline to so many people, but DACA recipients have been unjustly excluded for over a decade. We commend the Biden administration for moving to rectify this years-long injustice so that more DACA recipients can access the care they need.
“NILC and our partners have called on administrations to resolve this harmful injustice since DACA first went into effect. We celebrate this victory alongside all those whose tireless advocacy made it possible.
“This move comes as many DACA recipients experience harmful mental and physical health effects from living through continuous, politically motivated attacks on the program. Even as we celebrate this victory, we will continue to advocate for Congress to pass a pathway to citizenship that provides DACA recipients and immigrant youth the peace and stability we all need to thrive.”
“Today’s announcement from President Biden is welcome news and an important step to ensure that hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients like me can access vital healthcare services via the Affordable Care Act and Medicare. Once in effect, this proposed rule will empower DACA recipients who’ve grown up in the United States to stay healthy and care for themselves and their loved ones, all while continuing to contribute to our economy and to communities across the country.
“Removing discriminatory barriers to access healthcare is the right policy, not just for the physical, mental and financial health of hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients, but for our nation’s entire healthcare system which will be strengthened by improving preventative care amongst young people.
“As DACA remains under existential threat in the courts, today’s announcement by President Biden is a reminder that Congress should have passed permanent protections for Dreamers long ago. We again call on all policymakers to take the necessary steps in their power to ensure Dreamers can stay in the country that is their home.”
“As a DACA recipient, I often think back to when I was in college and had to make the hard choice to skip out on medical care to afford groceries. I, alongside the American Immigration Council, would like to thank and applaud the Biden Administration today for this expansion of the Affordable Care Act. Immigration status should not be a barrier to healthcare access, and today’s announcement fills a void for DACA beneficiaries like myself, who were previously excluded from the ACA. This new expansion lets immigrants who have contributed to our healthcare system, from small business owners, to students, to stay-at-home parents, obtain essential medical care. As I know firsthand, the DACA community has often been left out in the past. Thankfully, this new ACA expansion is a great step toward equitable access to services for immigrants. It will now be easier for the DACA community to receive medical care without having to worry about being able to put food on the table. Dreamers are crucial members of our workforce, and our communities and Congress should act and finally do what is right and pass legislation to provide them with a path to citizenship.”
Building Back Together (BBT) is a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization that serves as a messaging and organizing hub for national and in-state allies to advance the legislative agenda of the Biden-Harris Administration. BBT works alongside our partners to educate communities across the country about how the Biden-Harris agenda impacts their lives – by creating good-paying union jobs, lowering costs, and fueling economic growth – and contrasting these legislative accomplishments with the harmful plans of Republicans in Congress.