Biden Announces Expansion of Obamacare to Include ‘Dreamers’

( – Former President Barack Obama created the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012. It allows undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children to work and live without the fear of deportation. The group is often referred to as Dreamers, a reference to the DREAM Act, which would have granted them citizenship but never passed. President Joe Biden now wants those migrants to access the healthcare marketplace.

Biden Expands Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is another of Obama’s achievements as president. One of the things the law did was create a marketplace that allows American citizens and a small group of immigrants to purchase private health insurance. The government also gives tax credits to people who meet various income requirements.

On May 3, the White House announced the final rule that would allow Dreamers to access the marketplace and tax credits. The administration expanded the definition of the law’s requirement that a person be “lawfully present” in the US.

Domestic Policy Advisor Neera Tanden said the administration’s actions reflect Biden’s “key commitment to protecting” DACA recipients. She went on to say the POTUS is “focused on providing them with the support they need to thrive” and reflects his “belief that health care is a right … for all Americans” and should cover the immigrants too.

The administration expects approximately 100,000 of the more than half a million DACA recipients to apply for coverage. Officials think the rest will either get coverage from their employers or won’t be able to afford the plans available in the marketplace.

Is It Legal?

In its current form, Obamacare does not allow undocumented immigrants to access the healthcare marketplace or tax credits. According to, the federal marketplace website, “Undocumented immigrants can’t get Marketplace health coverage.”

The only migrants allowed to apply for insurance are those who are “lawfully present.” That means asylum seekers, permanent residents, those who have temporary protective status, special juvenile status, trafficking victims, and others.

Biden’s expansion of the definition would allow migrants to apply for the program. However, it will almost certainly go to court because he is altering the law without the consent of Congress.

The announcement comes as Biden tries to shore up support with Hispanic voters and other minority groups. It also ends months of speculation about how the president intended to address the immigration issue.

According to the new rule, immigrants can access plans on the marketplace when it opens on November 1.

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