Bernie Sanders announced on Thursday that he supports the idea of expanding Obamacare, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act, to undocumented immigrants. The Vermont senator, who is Hillary Clinton’s top rival for the Democratic Party presidential candidacy nomination, told Congressional Hispanic Caucus members in Washington DC last week that he wants to see undocumented immigrants get access to healthcare coverage, according to the Washington Post.
After the meeting Sanders’ aides explained that the senator thinks that in some instances undocumented immigrants should be allowed to buy health insurance with their own money via the exchange program created under Obamacare; however, Sanders does not want the federal government to subsidize undocumented immigrants.
On Wednesday a bill was introduced by Democratic lawmakers, including Representative Luis Gutierrez, that would extend Obamacare to include undocumented immigrants, as federal law currently prohibits undocumented immigrants enrolling in the Affordable Care Act program. Gutierrez claims that expanding the law would result in a healthier and younger pool of patients and ultimately cause a reduction in the cost of insurance for Americans who are already enrolled in Obamacare.
In the meantime Hillary Clinton, whose popularity with Hispanics currently eclipses Sanders’, has launched a new initiative entitled Latinos for Hillary in a bid to reach more Latino voters. She also plans to stage a number of campaign events centered around Latinos during Hispanic Heritage Month, according to the Tampa Bay Times.