Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) released the following statement on H.R. 1425, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Enhancement Act:

“We’re pleased that, at our request, this bill has been expanded to include health care access for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. As the Supreme Court affirmed earlier this month, Dreamers are home. At minimum, Congress should ensure that DACA recipients –including more than 200,000 who are bravely serving as essential workers during this pandemic – have equal access to quality, affordable health care. We’re grateful to the leadership of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus for working with us to ensure the inclusion of this critical provision in the final bill. Congress should continue to build on this progress by eliminating the discriminatory and harmful five-year waiting period for lawful residents —including green card holders who are on their way to citizenship — to access key health programs. This is both a taxpayer equity issue and vitally necessary, especially during this health pandemic when so many are struggling and need access to these critical programs.

“More must be done to guarantee universal health care as a human right for all people. We support the important improvements that this legislation makes to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, but until we address the profiteering, exploitation, and inefficiencies in our health care system that make healthcare unaffordable for tens of millions of Americans, our work is not done. As the pandemic has shown clearly, we must untether healthcare from employment and take on our corrupt, for-profit health care system that has widespread and damaging ramifications for public health. Now, more than ever, we need Medicare For All to guarantee quality health care to every person living in the United States.”