Sen. Cory Booker proposed changes to federal law that would make illegal immigrants eligible for Affordable Care Act marketplace insurance plans.
The Health Equity and Access under the Law Act, introduced Wednesday by the New Jersey Democrat, would alter some laws that make it difficult for illegal immigrants and immigrants temporarily in the country to obtain healthcare.
A version of the bill was previously introduced in the House, but Booker said the coronavirus pandemic necessitated Congress moving on it now.
“We’re never going to be able to slow and stop the spread of the virus if we continue to deny entire communities access to testing, treatment, or care,” Booker said in a statement.
The bill removes a five-year wait period before lawful immigrants become eligible for Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. It also makes both programs available to the 650,000 recipients of the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which temporarily protects from deportation some children who were brought into the country by their parents illegally.
A Guttmacher Institute study found that less than half of noncitizen women in the United States who would qualify for Medicaid if they were citizens are not insured.
Author: Anna Giaritelli
Source: Washington Examiner: Cory Booker proposes allowing illegal immigrants to buy health insurance under Obamacare