Immigration Reform & Obamacare

There has been a lot of debate recently about the pros & cons of immigration reform.  It has been said that Eric Cantor’s recent loss to Dave Brat in Virginia may doom any chances for immigration reform in the near future.  Nevertheless there is still a strong effort to pass an immigration reform bill.

Rather than argue the pros & cons of immigration reform, I thought I would explain how people might be affected under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, should an immigration bill ever be passed.

Under the Affordable Care Act, individuals may be eligible for subsidized health insurance if their incomes fall below  certain thresholds.  This is true for both US Citizens as well as non citizens who are legally present.

Under the ACA, citizens who’s incomes fall below the Federal poverty level, are NOT eligible for subsidized health insurance but may be eligible for Medicaid depending on the state they live in.  In Tennessee, where I live, adult citizens who’s incomes falls below the Federal poverty level are generally NOT eligible for Medicaid, also known as Tenncare, nor are they eligible for subsidized health insurance under the ACA.   Ironically, non-citizens who are legally present can still qualify for subsidized health insurance under the Affordable Care Act even if their incomes fall below the Federal poverty level.

An immigration reform bill would presumably legalize the status of most of the immigrants who are currently here illegally and thus make huge numbers of people eligible for subsidized health insurance.

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