ARIZONA NEWS

Biden to expand Obamacare for DACA recipients in Arizona and nationwide

May 6, 2024, 4:35 AM | Updated: 6:23 am

Biden announced the expansion of Obamacare for DACA recipients on May 3, 2024....

Recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in Arizona and nationwide will be eligible to obtain health care under the Affordable Care Act starting in November 2024. (AP File Photo)

(AP File Photo)

PHOENIX — Recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in Arizona and nationwide will be eligible to obtain health care under the Affordable Care Act starting in November.

This follows the Biden Administration’s finalization of the rule on Friday, amid ongoing efforts by the President to urge Congress to establish a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers.

“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,” President Biden said in a statement.

Dreamers often face challenges in obtaining health insurance, particularly if their parents are undocumented or if they find themselves in employment transitions without access to benefits from a full-time employer.

Dreamers advocate says Obamacare for DACA recipients still falls short

Mario Montoya, a DACA recipient who has lived in the country for over two decades, serves as the research analysis and coalition consultant for Aliento, a nonprofit organization based in Arizona dedicated to advocating for Dreamers.

He told KTAR News 92.3 FM that he wants to see a statewide campaign implement enrollment strategies aimed at informing nearly 21,000 Dreamers in Arizona about the expansion of Obamacare coverage, which could improve their access to health care.

However, he’s disappointed with certain limitations in the recent health care reforms.

Montoya noted that the Final Rule from the White House, while a step forward, fell short of expectations by not including access to Medicaid or funding under the CHIP and Science Act, as was initially proposed last year.

He also advocated for the expansion of federal programs accessible to Dreamers. However, Montoya acknowledged that the fate of these programs remains uncertain, contingent upon the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the legitimacy of the DACA program.

“The DACA program is still being litigated at the courts and the Supreme Court is ultimately going to have the final decision to see if the program is going to stay,” Montoya said.

Rep. Grijalva praises expansion of Obamacare for DACA recipients

U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, who represents District 7 in southern Arizona, said in a statement that the move will give thousands of people the opportunity to access affordable health insurance.

The Democrat said he has been advocating for these reforms in both Congress and with past administrations, and he commended President Biden for delivering on the issue.

“Illness does not discriminate on the basis of documentation or legal status. Access to timely health care is advantageous for those families and our communities as a whole,” Grijalva said.

At least 80% of consumers have found plans for $10 a month or less, according to the Biden Administration.

An estimated 100,000 previously uninsured DACA recipients will be able to enroll on HealthCare.gov starting in November.

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Biden to expand Obamacare for DACA recipients in Arizona and nationwide