Republican Senators J.D. Vance of Ohio and Josh Hawley of Missouri, along with several Republican representatives in the House, have united to urge Xavier Becerra, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) under President Joe Biden, to abandon a plan that seeks to extend taxpayer-funded subsidized healthcare benefits to undocumented individuals enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
This call comes in response to Biden’s announcement of his intention to grant approximately 600,000 undocumented DACA recipients access to Obamacare and Medicaid, programs originally established by former President Barack Obama to shield over a million undocumented individuals from deportation.
Furthermore, the Republicans acknowledge the millions of uninsured Americans or those with inadequate and unaffordable coverage. They argue that utilizing taxpayer funds to provide healthcare to undocumented immigrants while disregarding immigration enforcement harms American citizens.
Estimates suggest that extending Obamacare to undocumented DACA recipients could cost taxpayers approximately $2.8 billion per year, in addition to the already substantial $18.5 billion spent annually on medical expenses for undocumented immigrants.
Republican lawmakers demand that the government prioritize American citizens and legal residents, rejecting the proposed regulation and expansion of the term “lawfully present.” Their position reflects concerns about the financial burden on taxpayers and the integrity of immigration laws in light of Biden’s lenient approach to immigration.