Late last year, the Biden administration gave Washington state permission to let undocumented immigrants buy Obamacare coverage. Now, the administration wants to go further, and allow hundreds of thousands of individuals here illegally to obtain federal subsidies for that coverage.
On Monday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a proposed rule that would extend eligibility for Medicaid and Obamacare coverage to individuals participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Doing so would open up taxpayer-funded insurance subsidies to as many as 580,000 individuals illegally present in the United States, which will only encourage additional migration. Per the administration’s estimates, this change would also cost at least $2 billion in its first five years, at a time when the federal government already faces staggering debt.
The rule includes a series of technical changes, such as “propos[ing] a nomenclature change to use the term ‘noncitizen’ instead of ‘alien’ when appropriate to align with more modern terminology.” (Seriously.) Its most substantive change proposes modifying the definition of the words “legally present” when it comes to accessing benefits for a series of individuals, most notably DACA recipients.