Chris Lange, FISM News
President Joe Biden has authorized a new program to expand taxpayer-funded healthcare coverage for roughly 600,000 so-called “Dreamers” – migrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children.
The proposed Department of Health and Human Services rule would allow migrants enrolled in the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to receive healthcare coverage under Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, if they meet other eligibility rules.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is expected to submit a proposal by the end of April to expand the definition of “lawful presence” to include unauthorized migrants in order to give them access to Medicaid and Affordable Care Act Coverage to include DACA recipients, according to a White House Fact Sheet.
“President Biden believes that DACA recipients strengthen our economy and enrich our workplaces, our schools and communities, and our country as a whole,” the White House said in a statement announcing the expansion.
“If finalized, the rule will make DACA recipients eligible for these programs for the first time,” the White House said. “Under the proposed rule, DACA recipients will be able to apply for coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace, where they may qualify for financial assistance based on income, and through their state Medicaid agency.”
“We need to give Dreamers the opportunities and support they deserve,” President Biden said in a video message. “Today, my administration is announcing our plan to expand health coverage for DACA recipients by allowing them to enroll in a plan through the Affordable Care Act or through Medicaid.”
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), a member of the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, slammed the proposal as yet another economic burden for American families already struggling under soaring inflation under the Biden administration.
“Nearly $32 trillion in debt, with deficits growing larger and no end in sight,” Johnson told the New York Post. “President Biden is living in a fantasy land where he’s oblivious to the harm that inflation caused by his policies is inflicting on hard working Americans,” he added.
There are currently 589,660 migrants enrolled in DACA, according to The Migration Policy Institute. Customs and Border Protection data shows that 150,000 unaccompanied minors entered the U.S. in 2022 alone amid the ongoing surge of illegal crossings under the Biden administration.
EXPANDED COVERAGE TO COST TAXPAYERS NEARLY $3 BILLION PER YEAR
Notably, the White House statement does not include any information about how much the new program will actually cost.
Breitbart reported that U.S. taxpayers currently subsidize more than $18 billion in annual Medicaid costs for unauthorized migrants living in the U.S., citing an estimate provided by Chris Conover, formerly of the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research at Duke University.
“At this rate, Biden’s Obamacare and Medicaid for DACA illegal aliens has the potential to cost American taxpayers roughly $2.8 billion every year,” Breitbart’s John Binder wrote in reference to the new policy.
A federal judge ruled in 2021 that President Biden did not have the authority to renew DACA when he took office and barred the administration from processing new DACA recipients. The decision was rendered in a legal challenge filed by nine Republican-led states.
The DACA program has shielded nearly one million foreign nationals who came into the U.S. illegally from deportation.