March 28, 2014
“Whether they’re Mexican nationals or whether they’re United States citizens or whether they’re in transition– and if they’re there it is our responsibility within all of America to educate on the Affordable Care Act,” Enroll America Field Organizer Jose Medrano told Breitbart News on Wednesday.
Health Care insurance navigator groups hosted an Obamacare enrollment fair on Tuesday in the Mexican Consulate’s Brownsville office, The Rio Grande Guardian reported last Friday, where Mexican nationals among others were counseled about enrolling in the ACA.
“The Mexican consulate is a very reliable source of information to the Latino community. And therefore when they host their events, yesterday being the health fair, there are several hundred people that show up,” Medrano said.
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), undocumented immigrants aren’t supposed to be receiving government-run health benefits or subsidized coverage. However, President Barack Obama told Latinos in early March that the Healthcare.gov website would not be used to find out about an individual’s immigration status.
“None of the information that is provided in order for you to obtain health insurance is in any way transferred to immigration services,” he said.
According to Medrano, 101 families were represented at the ACA enrollment and education fair at the Brownsville Mexican Consulate on Tuesday and about 60 percent of them spoke to a health care counselor. Medrano says that the consulate’s office is helpful “as part of the transition” to “mainstream… America.”
This is not the first time the Mexican Consulate has been used to enroll individuals into Obamacare. Get Covered Illinois announced in late February that the Erie Family Health Center hoped to increase its enrollment numbers at the Mexican Consulate in Chicago, The Sun Times reported.
According to Vegas Seven, in Nevada, the Latino community is being targeted for ACA enrollment at the Mexican Consulate in downtown Las Vegas. Insurance News says Hispanic National Advocacy groups like National Alliance for Hispanic Health have helped lead the push to get more Latinos enrolled in Obamacare.
“Promoting Obamacare at a Mexican consulate raises three major policy concerns,” Stephen Miller, a spokesman for top immigration hawk Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) told Breitbart News.
“One, the possibility that illegal immigrants could fraudulently access federal subsidies; two, that such promotions provide a financial inducement to unlawfully enter the U.S. (or overstay a visa) by offering households headed by illegal immigrants federal subsidies through their legal relatives or dependents; and three, that these activities widen an existing flaw in our legal admissions process by continuing to subvert the principle that those seeking to lawfully enter the US should be financially self-sufficient,” Miller said.
Mexican Consulates have been used previously to advance USDA assistance programs like food stamps to Mexican nationals, The Daily Caller reported in July of 2012. Mexico promoted the program to 50 of its consular offices in the U.S.