Lawmakers urge the Biden administration to implement DACA Health Care Expansion 

Democratic lawmakers urged the Biden administration to implement the federal healthcare access expansion for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The expansion was proposed by Biden in April but has yet to be implemented. It could mean that more than 27,000 Floridians may not have access to healthcare. 

“Despite living in the United States for most of their lives and meeting strict and extensive requirements to obtain deferred action, DACA recipients, who meet other program eligibility criteria, remain ineligible for federally funded health coverage,” stated a letter signed by more than 80 lawmakers, which includes four Florida representatives. 

Although DACA recipients are allowed to lawfully reside and work in the country, it denies them access to federally funded programs, despite being taxpayers. 

Other migrants, such as asylum seekers and beneficiaries of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program, are eligible to access Medicaid coverage and buy health insurance through the Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – markets. The policy change proposed by Biden in April would have allowed Dreamers, as DACA recipients are commonly known, to qualify for these same benefits.  

“As 80 percent of the DACA recipients who do have health care coverage receive it through their employer, DACA recipients are vulnerable to losing their health insurance, as health care access is largely based on their ability to access job opportunities,” wrote members of Congress.

The White House has yet to comment on the letter or set a timeline for any implementation. 

Samuel Larreal is a Venezuelan journalism student with a concentration in political science and international relations. He is interested in reporting on human rights, immigration and civic freedom.