The HEAL for immigrant families Act proposes, for the first time in federal legislation, to allow states to include undocumented immigrants in Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Rep. Pramila Jayapal along with Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán and Senator Cory Booker introduced bicameral legislation that seeks to remove “cruel and unnecessary” barriers to health care for immigrants.
According to a news release, the Health Equity and Access under Law (HEAL) for immigrant families Act, proposes, for the first time in federal legislation, to allow states to include undocumented immigrants in Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and remove the 5-year waiting period for Medicare benefits for lawfully-present immigrants.
"We must finally guarantee health care to everyone as a human right — regardless of immigration status, income, employment, or anything else,” said Rep. Jayapal. “As a proud immigrant who came to this country alone at the age of 16, I know that the HEAL Act is an urgent, necessary, and just first step to eliminating senseless barriers to health care, making our communities healthier, and ensuring all immigrants get the care they need.”
The HEAL for Immigrant Families Act aims to provide solutions that will provide access to public and affordable health coverage for Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients, allow undocumented immigrants to purchase health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace and obtain premium-tax credits and cost-sharing reductions, among other benefits.
According to the recent census, the U.S. is home to more than 45 million immigrants. Approximately 8.6 million non-citizens, including those who live in the States legally or are undocumented, lack access to health insurance. The uninsurance rate among non-elderly people who are not citizens will be 39.2 per cent in 2024.â€‹