This FAQ addresses commonly asked questions about who would be eligible for affordable health care and federal public benefits if the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744) were to become law. What affordable health care coverage or federal public benefits would people granted one of the new statuses created by the bill be eligible for? Or how long would they have to wait to be eligible for such care or benefits?
Analysis of Access to Health Care and Nutrition Assistance in Current Immigration Reform Proposals
In Jan. 2013, the Obama administration and a bipartisan group of U.S. senators each released a blueprint of what they hope immigration reform legislation will include. On Feb. 18, 2013, an incomplete draft of immigration reform legislation from the Obama administration was leaked. All three “proposals” fail to adequately address how people who may potentially be granted a conditional status under an immigration reform bill would secure affordable health care coverage and enroll in nutrition programs. Because no legislation has yet been introduced, more work by Congress and the administration is needed to ensure that immigration reform fully integrates newly legalized immigrants.
The majority of Americans support a pathway to citizenship and modernizing our immigration system. And there is strong support that aspiring citizens on a road to citizenship have access to affordable health care and nutrition assistance. The long-term consequences of excluding aspiring citizens and other immigrants from full participation in society denies not only them, but all of us, a more economically secure future and a stronger nation that lives up to and demonstrates its most cherished values.
Letter sent to senators who voted against a budget resolution amendment that would have denied immigrants who earn legal status, and possibly even U.S. citizenship, access to federal health insurance programs, including Medicaid, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the new exchange subsidies that will make health insurance more affordable under the Affordable Care Act.