Democratic Debate in the U.S. Focuses on Healthcare Insurance for Illegal Immigrants


Published Date : Oct 14, 2015

The Democratic debate has made it clear that the two candidates of the party for presidential nomination would allow illegal immigrants in the U.S. to buy medical coverage from government websites, but to only a limited range.

The healthcare overhaul of 2010, which was supported by all the presidential candidates on the stage in a debate held on Tuesday night, requires that immigrants prove their legal residency to be eligible to buy medical coverage from HealthCare.gov or obtain tax credits for paying the premiums. Immigrants cannot also enroll in Medicaid, the federal program meant for the poor that also pans out many legal immigrants. The Obama administration had extended the limit for children, granted that the immigration enforcement stayed out of a 2012 executive action.

Of the nearly 26 million people who will still remain uninsured after the health law in the country is fully implemented, nearly one person out of three will be without coverage owing to their immigration status, according to projections made by the Congressional Budget Office.

Hillary Clinton joined Senator Bernie Sanders in quoting that she thinks that the immigrants in the country should be allowed to use HealthCare.gov for buying insurance plan without authorization, but should not be granted any help towards paying the premiums for their health plans.

This comes across as a relatively symbolic gesture as unauthorized immigrants in the country are already being able to buy health plans on their own and the plans are subject to the rules of health laws for coverage of benefits and pricing.

By allowing the low income immigrants to get tax credits for helping them to pay insurance premiums, regardless of their status of authorization, would be a much more far reaching step in this condition, but Hillary Clinton as well as Bernie Sanders have made it clear that they cannot support it.