Sunday, January 27, 2013
Comprehensive immigration "reform" could make millions of people suddenly eligible for assistance under Obama's healthcare law, assuming a final deal paves the way for illegal immigrants to receive papers
Illegal aliens are now prohibited from purchasing coverage through the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges, which will launch in 2014. They are also ineligible for Medicaid under most circumstances, making the law's expansion of the program fruitless for people without documents. Even young illegal immigrants with "deferred action" status, known as "DREAMers," cannot access the law's benefits. But the picture could change completely if Hispanic lawmakers get their wish — an overhaul of U.S. immigration policy that includes a path to legalization. Immigration is expected to be a major issue for Obama's second term. If nothing changes, illegal immigrants will be a major share of the uninsured, second only to those who are eligible but do not apply for coverage under the healthcare law in 2014, according to the Urban Institute.