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Saturday, September 23, 2023

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Consumer health advocates urge governor to sign bill package; NY protests for Jewish democracy heighten as Netanyahu meets UN today; Multiple Utah cities set to use ranked-choice voting in next election.

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The Pentagon wants to help service members denied benefits under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," advocates back a new federal office of gun violence prevention, and a top GOP member assures the Ukrainian president more help is coming.

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An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

"Health Care is a Human Right"

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Friday, April 21, 2023   

The Biden administration is expanding access to health coverage under the Affordable Care Act to include young people in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

At 5%, Illinois has the third-largest population of DACA recipients among U.S. states, and about one in three DACA recipients do not have health insurance.

Brandon Lee, communications director for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, explained the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will expand the meaning of the term "lawful presence" in the country to include DACA recipients.

"Health care for all, regardless of immigration status, is a critical demand that immigrant communities are organizing for," Lee explained. "Expanding ACA exchange access to DACA recipients is a huge win for our communities because health care is a human right."

Prior to the change, DACA recipients would only have been eligible for health coverage through an employer or spouse. A survey from the National Immigration Law Center found 18% of respondents lost their employer-sponsored insurance during the pandemic.

Since July 2021, DACA has been closed to new applicants due to a federal lawsuit challenging the program.

Lee noted his coalition was part of the organizing effort to establish DACA under the Obama Administration, and is continuing to work to preserve it and other protections for immigrant communities.

"That includes ensuring protections for DACA recipients in the event that the program does not make it through courts," Lee outlined. "Ensuring that immigrants in detention are released, preserving asylum, ensuring that cities and states get the resources they need to welcome migrants."

Currently, Illinois provides health care coverage to all income-eligible children regardless of immigration status, and the new expansion would help offset state costs for DACA-eligible residents.


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