The Health Equity and Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act.
Advocates for Youth applauds the Senate introduction of the Health Equity and Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act.
On May 20, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced the Health Equity and Access under the Law (HEAL) for Immigrant Women and Families Act. This is the first time that this legislation has been introduced in the Senate. As the country hurries to stop the damage done by Covid-19, the importance of all families having access to health care cannot be understated. Many immigrant families have been excluded from Covid relief found in the CARES Act, including no-cost testing and treatment.
The HEAL Act will 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.
Even while we collectively deal with a public health emergency, the Trump administration continues the fear-mongering and xenophobic attacks on immigrant communities. We hope that the Senate will support and pass the HEAL Act and support access to health care for all.