President Biden’s new plan to expand health coverage to DACA recipients

April 14, 2023 /

Yesterday, President Biden announced a new plan that, if finalized, would allow DACA recipients to enroll in Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Programs, and the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplaces — where they could qualify for financial assistance based on income, and through their state Medicaid agency. 

In 2012, President Obama and then Vice President Biden announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to allow young people to live and work in the only country they know as home. Over the last decade, DACA has brought stability, possibility, and progress to more than 800,000 Dreamers. 

A fact sheet released by the White House stated that: “President Biden believes that DACA recipients strengthen our economy and enrich our workplaces, our schools and communities, and our country as a whole. That’s why on his first day in office, he called on Congress to give Dreamers a pathway to citizenship and he has repeated that call every State of the Union address since.”

The fact sheet continued by stating that although Congress has failed to act, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken significant measures to protect Dreamers. This includes issuing regulations by the Department of Homeland Security to preserve and fortify DACA and fighting political opponents in court as they attempt to strip them of the only home they have ever known.

“President Biden is stepping up to ensure greater access to health care for DACA recipients – who contribute greatly to our country – building on California’s leadership,” said Governor Newsom. “Today’s news is a victory for the over 200,000 DACA recipients who call California home. However, it is crucial for Republicans in Congress to take action and finally create a meaningful pathway to citizenship. California is stronger and more vibrant because of our diversity, and we believe all residents should have access to high-quality health care, regardless of age, income, or immigration status, the fiscally sound move and it leads to better health outcomes and quality of life.”

Under Governor Newsom’s leadership, California has been expanding access to full-scope Medi-Cal, regardless of immigration status, to fulfill California’s commitment to health for all.

Currently, California DACA recipients are covered by state-only, full-scop Medi-Cal should they meet the eligibility requirements, and beginning in January 2024, an estimated 700,000-plus adults ages 26-49 will become eligible for full-scope Medi-Cal, regardless of immigration. 

“In California, we believe that all residents should have access to high-quality health care, regardless of age, income, or immigration status. We applaud @POTUS‘s commitment to ensuring greater access to health care – building on California’s leadership,” Governor Newsom tweeted. 

The fact sheet also stated that although there are some restrictions on the availability of benefits for DACA recipients, there are numerous Federal programs, opportunities, and resources that have been and continue to be available to Dreamers. These resources include:

  • Experiential Learning, National Service, and Employment Opportunities:
    • AmeriCorps VISTA Program
    • Outdoor Programs
    • American Job Centers
    • Job Corps
    • YouthBuild
    • National Farmworker Jobs Program
    • ARP Good Jobs Challenge
    • Department of Education Resources
  • Assistance with Renting or Purchasing a Home:
    • Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Financing
    • Housing, Rental, and Credit Counseling Services
  • Tax Credits, Financial Education, and Consumer Protection:
    • Tax Credits
    • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Resources
    • Consumer Complaints
    • CFPB Immigrant Initiative
    • Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Consumer Alerts
  • Health and Well-Being:
    • Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Health Centers
    • Emergency Medicaid
    • Public Health Programs
    • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Support
    • Maternal Mental Health Support
    • Special Health Needs 
    • Nutrition Assistance 
  • Military Veterans and Active-Duty Servicemember Resources:
    • Veterans Benefits
    • Free Legal Assistance

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Victoria Rodgers

Victoria Rodgers is an editor and reporter for Kern Sol News. Born in Bakersfield, CA, she received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Rockford University in Illinois. She can be reached at