DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Castro (TX), Joaquin
Sent By:
Kaitlyn.Montan@mail.house.gov

Letter to Urging HHS to Provide Access to ACA Benefits to DACA Recipients 

DEADLINE: TUESDAY, April 21st COB

*The request to provide ACA access to DACA recipients is supported by 250+ organizations. For a full list of these organizations and the underlying organizational letter in support, please go HERE.

 

Dear Colleague,

I invite you to sign on to a letter addressed to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) requesting for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients to obtain access to benefits under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Access
to health coverage for DACA recipients and their U.S. citizen children is absolutely critical during this pandemic in order to ensure that they have access to COVID-19 testing and treatment, particularly for the 27,000 DACA recipients employed as healthcare
practitioners and supporting occupations on the front lines of responding to COVID-19.

DACA recipients are the only type of immigrants (aside from international students/scholars) with some sort of protection or status that do not have access to the ACA. Currently, DACA recipients cannot: 

a. Generally obtain comprehensive health insurance under Medicaid or CHIP in their state;

b. Purchase health insurance in the ACA’s health insurance marketplace, even at full cost using their own funds; and

c. Obtain federal tax credits to make private health insurance affordable (even though DACA recipients still file and pay federal taxes) in the marketplace.

If you would like to join the letter, please sign on through our Google Form. If you have any questions or would like to sign on to the letter, please email Kaitlyn Montan with the office of Chairman Joaquin
Castro at Kaitlyn.Montan@mail.house.govThe deadline for co-signers is Tuesday, April 21st COB.

 

 

April 22, 2020

 

The Honorable Alex M. Azar II

Secretary

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20201

 

Dear Secretary Azar: 

We write to request that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, provide access to benefits under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
(DACA) recipients. Access to health coverage for DACA recipients and their U.S. citizen children is absolutely critical during this pandemic in order to ensure that they have access to COVID-19 testing and treatment, particularly for the 27,000 DACA recipients
employed as healthcare practitioners and supporting occupations on the front lines of responding to COVID-19.

Specifically, we request that HHS issue a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) that would repeal 45 C.F.R. § 152.2(8), which excludes DACA recipients from the definition of “lawfully present” and, consequently, benefits under the ACA. As a result of the
current regulation, DACA recipients cannot: 

       a. Generally obtain comprehensive health insurance under Medicaid or CHIP in their state;

b. Purchase health insurance in the ACA’s health insurance marketplace, even at full cost using their own funds; and

c. Obtain federal tax credits to make private health insurance affordable (even though DACA recipients still file and pay federal taxes) in the marketplace.

Leaving these young people uninsured, especially during a world-wide pandemic, simply does not advance the goals of the ACA nor benefit the American people. Without access to affordable health care, DACA recipients are left without the ability to receive
testing and treatment for COVID-19 as well as driving up health care costs on to our own safety net providers and increased premiums for everyone. Additionally, this regulation runs counter to HHS’ purpose by precluding health care access for long-term residents
of our country and encouraging negative public health outcomes.

Rescission of this harmful regulation would ensure access to health care for the approximately 650,000 current DACA recipients and could ultimately benefit a total of 1.3 million individuals if DACA resumes in the future. The regulation excludes a significant
pool of young, healthy adults—the exacttype of participants that Congress sought to encourage to secure and purchase health insurance under the ACA. We urge you to act immediately by rescinding this regulation to help promote healthy outcomes for
all DACA recipients and their families. 

We strongly encourage HHS to honor our country’s promise of full integration and support of DACA recipients, including access to affordable health care through the ACA by rescinding this regulation. We anticipate your response within 30 days, and we thank
you for your attention and prompt response. If you have any questions regarding this request, please contact Kaitlyn Montan at Kaitlyn.Montan@mail.house.gov.

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Civil Rights, HealthCare, Immigration

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