Washington, D.C., April 17, 2023—AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) President and CEO David J. Skorton, MD, and Chief Public Policy Officer Danielle Turnipseed, JD, MHSA, MPP, issued the following statement on the Biden administration's proposal allowing the nearly 600,000 people enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to obtain health coverage through Medicaid or the marketplace:
“The AAMC commends President Biden for his plan to expand federal health care programs to DACA recipients, or ‘Dreamers.’ These individuals came to the United States as children, built their lives here, make valuable impacts on our communities, and are American in every way except for their immigration status.
At a time when court rulings have left the future of the DACA program uncertain, this new policy ensures more equitable access to health care and removes one critical stressor from the lives of the nearly 600,000 current DACA recipients, including 34,000 individuals who contribute to the health care of our nation. When left without access to regular health care, individuals put off seeking treatment until there is a medical emergency or crisis. Consequently, the complexity and costs of treatment increase for that individual and society as a whole.
The administration’s new policy, while welcomed, is merely a stopgap solution. The only way to truly protect the health and well-being of Dreamers is by providing them with an opportunity to earn lawful permanent citizenship. The AAMC recently led 78 health care organizations on a letter urging Congress to provide that permanent opportunity, and we look forward to working with congressional leaders on a bipartisan solution.”