Republicans: ‘Unimaginable’ for Biden to Open Obamacare to Illegal Aliens with 25 Million Uninsured American s

JOHN BINDER13 Jul 2023

Sens. J.D. Vance (R-OH) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) have joined a number of House Republicans, urging President Joe Biden’s Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra to drop a plan that opens taxpayer-subsidized healthcare benefits to illegal aliens enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

In April, Biden announced plans to open Obamacare and Medicaid rolls, both subsidized by American taxpayers, to nearly 600,000 DACA illegal aliens. Former President Barack Obama first created the DACA program via executive order, shielding more than a million illegal aliens from deportation through the years.

Vance and Hawley — joined by Reps. Josh Brecheen (R-OK), Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Bob Good (R-VA), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Ken Buck (R-CO), Brian Babin (R-TX), Matt Rosendale (R-MT), Eli Crane (R-AZ), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Jeff Duncan (R-SC), Tom Tiffany (R-WI), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), Glenn Grothman (R-WI), and Tom McClintock (R-CA) — sent a letter to Becerra asking him to withdraw the plan.

The House and Senate Republicans write:

HHS states in its proposed rule that this expansion intends to make hundreds of thousands of previously ineligible illegal aliens now eligible for various healthcare programs like Qualified Health Plans, premium tax credits, cost sharing reductions, and the Basic Health Program. The Department estimates that this expansion will cost more than $100 million in its first year alone. [Emphasis added]

By providing health insurance to DACA recipients, this policy further burdens programs intended to serve U.S. citizens and simultaneously encourages more aliens to enter our country illegally in the hopes of receiving similar protection and services. Unfortunately, this approach appears to align with the open-borders agenda advanced by your colleague, Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, with hundreds of thousands of aliens apprehended trying to enter our country illegally every month. [Emphasis added]

The Biden Administration’s decision also undermines the promise made by President Obama that the Affordable Care Act would not provide healthcare coverage to illegal immigrants, which reflects just how radical the current administration has been on immigration issues. [Emphasis added]

In his 2012 State of the Union Address, Obama vowed to Americans that illegal aliens would not be eligible for Obamacare, to which Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) shouted, “You lie!”

The Republicans also noted that Biden’s opening of Obamacare to DACA illegal aliens comes as 25 million Americans remain without health insurance and millions more have health insurance plans that are unaffordable and cover little.

“Given that more than 25 million Americans are uninsured, we find it unimaginable that the government would prioritize providing illegal aliens with health insurance coverage,” the Republicans write:

Clearly, it is not in Americans’ interest to have the federal government use taxpayer dollars to provide health care to illegal aliens as their government fails to enforce existing immigration law against those same individuals. [Emphasis added]

We urge you to abandon the proposed rule and not expand the definition of “lawfully present.” It is time for the federal government to prioritize Americans’ interests, and prioritizing health insurance coverage for American citizens and those here legally would be a strong start. [Emphasis added]

Prior research has found that offering Obamacare to illegal aliens would cost American taxpayers about $4,600 per illegal alien. Such an estimate indicates that taxpayers could be charged about $2.8 billion every year to provide Obamacare to every DACA illegal alien.

Already, American taxpayers are forced to subsidize at least $18.5 billion of annual medical costs for illegal aliens living in the United States, according to estimates by Chris Conover, formerly of the Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research at Duke University.