Statement on Introduction of the HEAL Act

Advocates for Youth applauds the introduction of the Health Equity and Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act. The bill would remove the 5 year waiting period that all federally authorized immigrants must currently endure to gain access to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The HEAL for Immigrant Women and Families Act would also allow Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and undocumented immigrants to buy plans on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces with access to financial assistance.  

The HEAL for Immigrant Women and Families Act is an important move towards protecting marginalized communities and making sure that all families can access care. At Advocates for Youth we believe that all young people- regardless of where they are in the immigration process- should have access to the tools they need to protect their health, which includes access to reproductive care afforded by the ACA.  “Limiting access to healthcare has a profoundly negative impact, especially for young people. Removing unnecessary barriers that delay accessing health care or make it unaffordable is critical in advancing the health and well-being of young people, women and communities. Young people especially deserve access to the full range of health care services, not policies that deny access to basic services they need to lead healthy lives,” said Debra Hauser, president of Advocates for Youth.

 Amidst the  fear-mongering and xenophobic attacks by the Trump administration, we hope that Congress will support and pass the HEAL Act and support all immigrant communities’ access to health care.