Obamacare for Undocumented Immigrant Children and DACA Recipients

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Undocumented immigrant children in America as well as children and young adults who are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients must be eligible for Obamacare if it still exists under Donald Trump’s presidency. Currently, DACA recipients and undocumented immigrant children are barred from applying for Obamacare through the Affordable Care Act. Though the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services makes “lawfully present” individuals eligible for the Affordable Care Act, President Obama enacted a rule change in August 2012, which stated that DACA recipients, who are legally allowed to stay in the US, are not defined as “lawfully present” and therefore cannot receive Obamacare. Like undocumented immigrant children, DACA recipients in the United States are not eligible for federally funded public health insurance programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and the Child Health Insurance Program.

Obama’s rule change has caused the Affordable Care Act to fail in completing its ultimate goal: to provide affordable health insurance for legally present people, like DACA recipients. I have seen first hand the amazing opportunities that DACA provides to my family friends, but young people cannot benefit from it if they cannot receive affordable health care. America must also extend Obamacare to undocumented immigrant children because they should not be punished and barred from receiving quality health insurance simply because they were brought to America illegally by their parents. Without granting them Obamacare, a generation of undocumented immigrant children will have no health care provider to turn to when they become ill. Together, we must advocate for these children and young adults because as immigrants, they have almost no voice in American democracy.



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