NILC Lauds Bill by Illinois Rep. Gutiérrez to Expand Access to Obamacare Regardless of Immigration Status

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2015

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

NILC Lauds Bill by Illinois Rep. Gutiérrez to Expand Access to Obamacare Regardless of Immigration Status

WASHINGTON — A bill introduced today by Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez that would give undocumented immigrants full access to Affordable Care Act (ACA) benefits is good for our nation’s health and economic security, according to the National Immigration Law Center.

The proposed measure, the Exchange Inclusion for a Healthy America Act of 2015, would lift ACA restrictions that now prevent undocumented taxpayers from buying health insurance through ACA marketplaces and keep them from qualifying for health care subsidies.

The bill also clarifies that deferred action recipients will be treated as lawfully present, without distinction, and restores their eligibility to buy health coverage and obtain health coverage subsidies under the ACA. Currently, immigrants who qualify for the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) are not allowed to buy health insurance under the ACA, even though they are considered lawfully present under immigration law.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement after Rep. Gutiérrez introduced the House bill:

“Allowing everyone to access the Marketplace is not only smart economic policy, but it is also good for our families and communities. Congressman Gutiérrez’s bill is a critical step toward achieving affordable health care for the remaining uninsured and furthers the underlying promise of the ACA: access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans.

“Access to health care is a civil and human right that no one should be denied. Illnesses do not discriminate and neither should our laws. We should all be able to get the health care we need when we need it, and this includes all immigrant families. The future prosperity of our country depends on healthy families who can contribute to our communities and our economy. This legislation is an important acknowledgment of that fact.”

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