Submit comments to HHS to allow DACA-approved individuals to participate in the Affordable Care Act – [Deadline October 29th]
The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network has released a call for advocates to submit comments to the Department of Health and Human Services to speak out against the recent decision to exclude DACA-eligible individuals from the Affordable Care Act. Anyone can submit comments and, to make the job easier, a sample letter is available. Simply follow these instructions to submit comments electronically:
- Step 1: Go to www.regulations.gov
- Step 2: Search for document ID “ CMS–9995–IFC2″ to find the regulation on DACA and health care. Make sure you are commenting on the “Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan” Interim Final Rule (Thanks to Natalie for the clarification)
- Step 3: Click on “Comment Now” button to submit comments
CPHEN’s call reminds us that this policy:
- Runs counter to the primary goal of the ACA – to expand access to affordable health coverage.
- Will lead to higher health insurance premiums for everyone by excluding young, healthy individuals from enrolling in coverage in the Health Benefit Exchange.
- Will likely lead to poorer health outcomes and increase health disparities by denying young immigrants the care they need.
Despite this effort to reverse the recent HHS decision, other undocumented immigrants and legal permanent residents who have lived in the U.S. for less than five years are excluded from new coverage opportunities under the Affordable Care Act. States such as California that have large immigrant populations will continue to have many uninsured individuals. For more information, visit The Kaiser Family Foundation, which provides an excellent overview of immigrants’ eligibility to participate in health coverage expansion from the Affordable Care Act.
“Adios Arpaio” in full force
A vibrant “Adios Arpaio” campaign has been actively registering voters and mobilizing to ouster Joe Arpaio from his position as Sherriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. Just this week, a lawsuit was filed against the sheriff for the death of Ernest “Marty” Atencio while in county custody. The Adios Arpaio campaign is made up of a coalition of Latino and immigrant rights advocates and local unions, such as UNITE HERE, and has registered 34,000 voters. Particularly active are students from the local high schools who have become politically mobilized because, in the words of one, “they have the same issue inside, that they can’t stand discrimination against Latinos.” Organizers say this is a long-term strategy to mobilize the Latino vote in Arizona: “The next one will be Jan Brewer.”
President Obama says he’s confident he can achieve Comprehensive Immigration Reform during a second term
In an previously off-the-record interview with an Iowa newspaper, President Obama expressed confidence that he could achieve an comprehensive immigration reform bill during a second term, specifically, because “the Republican Party have so alienated the fastest-growing demographic group in the country, the Latino community…George Bush and Karl Rove were smart enough to understand the changing nature of America.”