Dreamers Gain Access to Affordable Care Act Enrollment under Biden Administration Directive

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Biden administration is set to enroll about 100,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. as children in the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance next year, a move that showcases the administration’s commitment to providing support for these individuals. This directive, released on Friday, signifies a major step towards ensuring that these immigrants, commonly known as “Dreamers,” have access to essential healthcare coverage.

President Joe Biden’s initiative, although delayed and falling short of initial proposals, will enable “Dreamers” to access tax breaks when enrolling in health coverage through the Affordable Care Act marketplace. This development coincides with the opening of the enrollment period on November 1, just days before the upcoming presidential election.

While this move may bolster Biden’s appeal among Latino communities, a vital voting bloc crucial for electoral success, it is also expected to draw criticism from conservatives regarding the administration’s approach to border and migrant policies. By extending health coverage opportunities to participants in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, many of whom are Latino, the Biden administration aims to address a pressing need for healthcare access among this group.

Xavier Becerra, the nation’s top health official, emphasized the importance of providing healthcare access to these migrants, noting that delayed care often results in higher costs and debts. By extending eligibility for DACA participants to enroll in the marketplace exchange, the administration seeks to improve the overall health and well-being of these individuals and the nation as a whole.

The Biden administration’s decision marks a significant shift in policy by redefining “lawfully present” status to allow DACA participants to enroll in the marketplace exchange. Previously, DACA recipients were ineligible for government-subsidized health insurance programs due to their immigration status. Despite not expanding eligibility for Medicaid, this decision is expected to benefit approximately 100,000 DACA participants who may otherwise struggle to afford healthcare coverage.

It is crucial to note that DACA is a temporary solution, as Vice President Kamala Harris emphasized the need for Congress to provide permanent protections for Dreamers. The administration’s efforts to safeguard DACA from legal challenges reflect a commitment to supporting immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and ensuring their access to essential services. As the enrollment period approaches, the impact of this directive on the healthcare landscape for DACA participants remains to be seen.