Last Chance to Submit Comments on DACA exclusion from Affordable Care Act
On August 25, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new rule that would exclude Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients from the Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Plan (PCIP) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This seemingly specific change has big consequences. Since the rest of the ACA depends on the definition outlined for the PCIP, it effectively limits young immigrant workers and students who received deferred action from accessing any part of the ACA. This includes preventing them from purchasing their own insurance, which the ACA requires for those not on employer-paid health plans.
By excluding the DACA recipients from the Affordable Care Act, this new rule sets up a class system, denying an important group of workers access to quality, affordable healthcare. While these newly authorized DACA workers will have the same status as other workers, they will have considerably fewer rights to healthcare. This type of exclusion not only lacks legal or policy justification, it also undermines the goals of the ACA and leaves the door open for further discrimination against immigrant workers.
There is a short window of opportunity to challenge the rule and stop its unintended consequences: the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is still accepting comments on the rule change, but time is running out. Please submit comments telling HHS that excluding DACA-authorized workers from the ACA is discriminatory, costly, and unfair. Comments are due Oct. 29.
Please see the draft comments below. For more information on how to submit comments and to read talking point go here.
VIA ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION
October XX, 2012
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Department of Health and Human Services
P.O. Box 8016
Baltimore, MD 21244–8016
Comments on CMS’ Interim Final Rule Changes to Definition of “Lawfully Present” in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan Program of the Affordable Care Act of 2010
[Add paragraph about your organization, which constituents you represent or advocate on behalf of, and your interest in submitting comments on this rule change.]
For the reasons discussed below, we oppose the exclusion of individuals granted deferred action by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ list of immigration categories considered “lawfully present” for purposes of health coverage eligibility. Specifically, we oppose the change in the definition of “lawfully present” in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan program as well as the use of this definition in other provisions of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) (77 Fed. Reg. 52614, Aug. 30, 2012). The rule change lacks legal or policy justification and undermines the goals of the ACA.
[Specific concerns: Insert talking points or add a paragraph highlighting your specific concern/interest or the impact/consequences on specific individuals or impact on your organization or state.]
For these reasons, we recommend deletion of subsection 8 of 45 CFR § 152.2, effective immediately.
Thank you for your attention to these comments. Please do not hesitate to contact [XXX] at [XXX] if you have any questions.