Expatriate Workers Health Coverage Bill Is Defective

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2014

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, delatorre@nilc.org, 213-400-7822

NILC Looks to Senate to Reject House’s Defective Health Coverage Bill for Expatriate Workers

WASHINGTON — The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) urges the Senate to reject a defective House of Representatives bill that eliminates important consumer protections for expatriate health insurance plans and that implicates millions of lawfully present immigrants who live in the US. The bill, HR 4414, was passed by the House on Tuesday despite confusion over the real impact of the measure.

Sponsors said the bill was designed to help insurance carriers continue providing coverage to Americans who work outside of the U.S. by waiving some rules under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, because the measure was written too broadly, millions of lawfully present immigrants living and working in the U.S. could be negatively impacted by this bill, losing  consumer protections for employer-sponsored plans required by the ACA.

NILC DC Director Don Lyster issued the following statement after today’s House vote:

“The expatriate health coverage bill does more harm than good. Instead of issuing a targeted fix to employer coverage for Americans working abroad, the sponsors overreached by passing a bill that threatens required health coverage for millions of eligible employees, including green card–holders who have made the U.S. their permanent home and low-wage immigrant workers, such as farmworkers and care-givers. The reckless House vote was like using a bat to swat at a fly.

“There was no real reason to rush this legislation to the floor, as congressional and administration negotiators were still working toward an appropriate solution. With this vote taken, we now look to the Senate to act responsibly and undo the damage caused by the House’s flawed legislation.”

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