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President Obama and Secretary Sebelius: Make Healthcare Reforms Available to DACA Youth

President Obama and Secretary Sebelius: Make Healthcare Reforms Available to DACA Youth

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A coalition letter of national racial justice, LGBT equality, health care rights, and human rights organizations join efforts to ensure that Deferred Action eligible youth have access to healthcare benefits enacted by the Affordable Care Act.
A coalition letter of national racial justice, LGBT equality, health care rights, and human rights organizations join efforts to ensure that Deferred Action eligible youth have access to healthcare benefits enacted by the Affordable Care Act.

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Published by: Nat'l Center for Transgender Equality on Apr 02, 2013
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September  10,  2012     President  Barack  Obama         The  White  House   1600  Pennsylvania  Avenue,  NW   Washington,  DC

 20500       Dear  President  Obama,     We  thank  you  for  taking  the  bold  step  of  announcing  the  new  Deferred  Action  for  Childhood  Arrivals   (DACA)  program  on  June  15th.    This  program  will  enable  over  one  million  young  aspiring  Americans  to   live  without  fear  of  deportation  and  to  use  their  education  and  talents  effectively  to  work  and  support   their  families.    DACA  will  fundamentally  change  the  lives  of  these  young  people  and  their  families  and   will  be  a  boon  to  our  nation’s  economy.     So  far,  the  program  has  been  a  tremendous  success  and  has  inspired  a  new  hope  in  immigrant   communities  and  in  those  who  support  them.  We  applaud  the  United  States  Citizenship  and   Immigration  Service,  which  has,  so  far,  acted  in  a  timely  and  responsible  manner  to  bring  the  vision  for   this  program  to  life  –  deadlines  have  been  met,  communication  has  been  constant,  open  and  earnest,   and  the  application  process  has  been  straightforward  and  fair.    In  turn,  DREAMers,  organizations  which   serve  the  immigrant  community,  media  partners  and  everyday  individuals  have  been  working  around   the  clock  to  ensure  that  potential  beneficiaries  have  the  help  they  need  to  take  advantage  of  this   historic  opportunity.     However,  we  are  gravely  disappointed  and  concerned  with  the  recent  announcement  by  your   administration  to  exclude  youth  approved  for  the  new  deferred  action  policy  from  key  features  of  the   Affordable  Care  Act  (ACA)  and  to  prevent  children  and  pregnant  women  approved  for  DACA  from   enrolling  in  affordable,  health  insurance  under  the  state  option  available  in  Medicaid  and  the  Children’s   Health  Insurance  Program.    Prior  to  this  announcement,  federal  rules  would  have  allowed  DACA   beneficiaries,  like  others  granted  deferred  action,  to  enroll  in  these  affordable  health  coverage  programs   if  otherwise  eligible.     At  the  Rose  Garden  announcement  of  the  DACA  program,  you  described  undocumented  youth  as  fully   integrated  into  American  society,  educated,  and  ready  to  fulfill  their  dreams.    The  decision  to  single  us   out  by  restricting  us  from  access  to  affordable  health  care  runs  counter  to  that  vision.  It  also  runs   counter  to  the  purpose  of  your  signature  legislative  achievement—the  Affordable  Care  Act—which  was   meant  to  ensure  that  access  to  affordable  health  care  would  be  within  the  reach  of  millions  for  whom  it   was  not  previously  available.     Discriminating  against  undocumented  youth  by  restricting  access  to  coverage  places  the  health  of   children,  youth,  pregnant  women  and  their  newborn  infants  at  risk,  and  fails  to  ensure  that  young   workers  and  students  remain  healthy  and  productive.    Furthermore,  it  interferes  with  the  cost-­‐effective   strategy  of  including  healthy  and  young  individuals  in  the  nation’s  risk  pool.     We  cannot  see  any  legitimate  policy  reasons  for  the  changes  announced  by  your  administration  at  the   end  of  August,  more  than  a  year  before  the  bulk  of  the  Affordable  Care  Act  is  set  to  take  effect  in  2014.     We  are  also  extremely  concerned  that  states  hostile  to  immigrants  will  attempt  to  use  your  

administration’s  decision  to  further  restrict  opportunities  for  individuals  granted  deferred  action  under   the  DACA  program.    Indeed,  immediately  following  the  August  30  announcement,  Arizona  Governor   Brewer  seized  the  opportunity  to  claim  that  this  provides  support  for  Arizona’s  plans  to  deny  DACA   beneficiaries  access  to  driver’s  licenses  and  other  state  benefits.     We  strongly  urge  your  administration  to  reconsider  its  decision  and  to  take  note  of  our  unified  and   determined  desire  to  see  that  DREAMers  are  treated  with  fairness,  dignity  and  the  respect  that  they   deserve.    We,  the  immigrant  youth  across  the  nation,  and  the  organizations  listed  below,  will  continue   to  encourage  young  people  to  seize  this  historic  opportunity  to  work  and  to  fulfill  their  dreams,  free   from  the  immediate  threat  of  deportation.    We  also  remain  committed  to  ensuring  that  the  Affordable   Care  Act  achieves  its  goals  of  improving  access  to  coverage  and  care,  and  will  continue  to  educate  our   communities  about  its  benefits.         We  hope  that  we  can  count  on  your  administration  to  ensure  that  undocumented  youth  are  integrated   fully  into  U.S.  society,  with  all  of  the  rights,  responsibilities  and  support  necessary  to  make  this  happen.     Sincerely,         United  We  Dream  Network     Children  Now   Abortion  Care  Network   CHIRLA   Advocates  for  Women   Center  for  Law  and  Social  Policy     Advocates  for  Youth   Clinica  Sierra  Vista   AIDS  Foundation  of  Chicago   Coalition  for  Asian  American  Children  and  Families   AIDS  United  (Washington,  D.C.)     Coalition  of  Labor  Union  Women     Alliance  for  a  Just  Society   Coalition  on  Human  Needs   America's  Voice  Education  Fund   Colorado  Center  on  Law  and  Policy   American  Association  of  University  Women   Community  Catalyst   (AAUW)   Community  Service  Society  of  NY   American  College  Occupational  Medicine   Connecticut  Legal  Services   Americans  for  Immigrant  Justice   Consejo  de  Federaciones  Mexicanas-­‐  COFEM,  CA   Asian  &  Pacific  Islander  American  Health  Forum   California  Pan-­‐Ethnic  Health  Network   Asian  American  Institute   Disability  Rights  Education  and  Defense  Fund   Asian  American  Justice  Center   (DREDF)   Asian  American  Legal  Defense  and  Education  Fund   Earth  Mama  Healing,  Inc.   Asian  and  Pacific  Islanders  California  Network   El  Centro  de  Igualdad  y  Derechos,  New  Mexico   Asian  Law  Alliance   Empire  Justice  Center   Asian  Pacific  Policy  and  Planning  Council   Fair  Immigration  Reform  Movement   Asian  Pacific  American  Legal  Center   Families  for  Freedom   Association  of  Asian  Pacific  Community  Health   Family  Equality  Council   Organizations   Farmworker  Justice   Association  of  Reproductive  Health  Professionals   Filipino  Advocates  for  Justice     Black  Women  for  Wellness   First  Focus   California  Immigrant  Policy  Center   Forward  Together   California  Latinas  for  Reproductive  Justice   Franciscan  Action  Network   Campaign  for  Community  Change   Gay  and  Lesbian  Medical  Association   Catholics  for  Choice   Generation  Alliance   Center  for  Reproductive  Rights     Greater  Hartford  legal  Aid   Center  for  Women  Policy  Studies   Having  Our  Say  

Health  Care  for  all  Massachusetts   Health  Care  for  all  NY   Idaho  Community  Action  Network,  Idaho   IL  Coalition  for  Immigrant  and  Refugee  Rights   Immigrant  Legal  Resource  Center   Iowa  Citizens  for  Community  Investment,  Iowa   Jewish  Council  for  Public  Affairs   Korean  American  Resource  and  Cultural  Center,   Illinois   Korean  Resource  Center,  CA   Law  Students  for  Reproductive  Justice   League  of  United  Latin  American  Citizens   Lutheran  Immigration  and  Refugee  Service   Madera  Coalition  For  Community  Justice   Main  Street  Alliance   Maine  Equal  Justice   Make  The  Road  NY   MALDEF   Maryland  Disability  Law  Center   Massachusetts  Immigrant  and  Refuge  Advocate   Coalition   MIRA  Coalition   MataHari:  Eye  of  the  Day   Maternal  And  Child  Health  Access   MomsRising   Ms.  Foundation  for  Women   NAPAFASA   National  Asian  Pacific  American  Women's  Forum   (NAPAWF)     National  Assembly  on  school  based  Health   National  Association  of  Community  Health  Centers   National  Association  of  Social  Workers   National  Center  for  Lesbian  Rights     National  Center  for  Transgender  Equality   National  Coalition  for  LGBT  Health   National  Council  of  Jewish  Women     National  Council  of  La  Raza   National  Family  Planning  and  Reproductive  Health   Association   National  Gay  and  Lesbian  Task  Force   National  Health  Law  Program   National  Hispanic  Medical  Association   National  Immigration  Forum   National  Immigration  Law  Center     National  Korean  American  Service  and  Education   Consortium,  NAKASEC   National  Latina  Institute  for  Reproductive  Health    

National  Minority  AIDS  Council   National  Network  for  Immigrant  and  Refugee   Rights   National  Organization  for  Women   National  Partnership  for  Women  &  Families   National  Research  Center  for  Women  &  Families   National  Women's  Health  Network   New  York  Immigration  Coalition,  NY   NHLEGAL   Northwest  Health  Law  Advocates   Northwest  Immigrant  Rights  Project   National  Queer  Asian  Pacific  Islander  Alliance   One  America   One  America,  Washington   Para  los  Niños   Pennsylvania  Immigrant  and  Citizens  Coalition,   Pennsylvania   People  For  the  American  Way     Planned  Parenthood  Affiliates  of  California   Public  Justice  Center   Raising  Women's  Voices  for  the  Health  Care  We   Need   Reformed  Church  of  Highland   Reproductive  Health  Technologies  Project   SC  Appleseed   SEARAC   Services,  Immigrant  Rights  and  Education  Network   Sexuality  Information  and  Education  Council  of  the   United  States   SHIRE   South  Asian  council  for  Social  Services   Street  Level  Health  Project   Sunflower  Community  Action  Network,  Kansas   Tennessee  Justice  Center   The  Episcopal  Church   The  Legal  Aid  Society  of  San  Mateo   The  National  Assembly  on  School-­‐Based  Health   Care     Unid@s   Virginia  Poverty  Law  Center   Vision  y  Compromiso   Washington  CAN!   Western  Center  on  Law  and  Poverty   Who  is  my  neighbor,  Inc.   WICIR   Young  Invincible   YWCA  USA

    Cc:   The  Honorable  Kathleen  Sebelius,  Secretary,  U.S.  Dept.  of  Health  and  Human  Services   Sally  Howard,  Chief  of  Staff  to  Secretary  Sebelius     Valerie  Jarrett,  Senior  Advisor  to  the  President  of  the  United  States   Cecilia  Munoz,  Director,  White  House  Domestic  Policy  Council   Alejandro  Mayorkas,  Director,  USCIS   Rebecca  Carson,  Chief  of  Staff  to  Director  Mayorkas   Jon  Carson,  Director  of  the  Office  of  Public  Engagement,  White  House   Felicia  Escobar,  Senior  Policy  Director  for  Immigration,  White  House  DPC   Tyler  Moran,  Deputy  Policy  Director  for  Immigration,  White  House  DPC   Julie  Rodriguez,  Associate  Director  of  Public  Engagement,  White  House   Cindy  Mann,  Director,  Center  for  Medicaid  and  State  Operations   Jeanne  Lambrew,  Deputy  Assistant  to  the  President  for  Health  Policy   Liz  Fowler,  Special  Assistant  to  the  President  for.  Healthcare  and  Economic  Policy        

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