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美延期遣返政策受惠人不享受医保

Limits Placed on Immigrants in Health Law
美延期遣返政策受惠人不享受医保

WASHINGTON — The White House has ruled that young immigrants who will be allowed to stay in the United States as part of a new federal policy will not be eligible for health insurance coverage under President Obama’s health care overhaul.

华盛顿——白宫已经裁定,根据一项新的联邦政策被允许留在美国的年轻移民,将没有资格按照奥巴马医改方案获得医保。

The decision — disclosed last month, to little notice — has infuriated many advocates for Hispanic Americans and immigrants. They say the restrictions are at odds with Mr. Obama’s recent praise of the young immigrants.

这一在上个月悄悄公布的决定,激怒了西语裔美国人和移民的许多支持者。他们表示,这种限制与奥巴马最近对年轻移民的称赞相互抵触。
 

健康政策专家詹妮弗·吴(左)和马里兰州学生里卡尔多·E·坎波斯都对白宫的规定感到震惊。

In June, the president announced that hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children, attended school here and met other requirements would be allowed to remain in the country without fear of deportation.

今年6月,奥巴马总统宣布,数十万在童年时期进入美国、在这里上学并符合其他一些要求的非法移民,将被允许留在这个国家,而无需担心被遣返。

Immigrants granted such relief would ordinarily meet the definition of “lawfully present” residents, making them eligible for government subsidies to buy private insurance, a central part of the new health care law. But the administration issued a rule in late August that specifically excluded the young immigrants from the definition of “lawfully present.”

通常,移民获得这样的救济待遇意味着他们符合“合法居留”居民的定义,使他们有资格获得政府补贴来购买私人医保,这是新医保法的核心部分。但是奥巴马政府在8月下旬发布一条规则,专门把这类年轻移民排除在“合法居留”的定义之外。

At the same time, in a letter to state health officials, the administration said that young immigrants granted a reprieve from deportation “shall not be eligible” for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Administration officials said they viewed the immigration initiative and health coverage as separate matters.

同时,奥巴马政府在一封给各州卫生官员的信中表示,获得暂缓遣返的年轻移民,“没有资格”获得联邦医疗救助(Medicaid)或儿童健康保险计划(CHIP)。奥巴马政府官员称,他们认为移民计划和医保覆盖范围是两回事。

Nick Papas, a White House spokesman, said the deferred-deportation policy “was never intended” to confer eligibility for federal health benefits. The White House describes that policy as “an exercise of prosecutorial discretion,” allowing law enforcement officers to focus on immigrants who pose a threat to national security or public safety.

白宫发言人尼克·帕帕斯(Nick Papas)说,暂缓遣返政策“从来无意”赋予联邦医疗福利资格。白宫将这一政策形容为“行使公诉人的自由裁量权”,让执法人员聚焦于那些对国家安全或公共安全构成威胁的移民。

The move might help Mr. Obama avoid a heated political debate over whether the health law is benefiting illegal immigrants. The possibility of such benefits has drawn criticism from many Republicans, including Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina, who shouted “You lie!” as Mr. Obama addressed the issue before a joint session of Congress in 2009.

此举可能有助于奥巴马避免一场有关医保法是否正让非法移民受益的激烈的政治辩论。这种福利存在的可能性已经招致许多共和党人的批评,包括南卡罗来纳州众议员乔·威尔逊(Joe Wilson)。在2009年奥巴马在国会参众两院联席会议上发表讲话时提到这个问题时,他曾高喊“你撒谎!”

The restrictions on health coverage may also save money by limiting the number of people who receive health insurance wholly or partly from the federal government.

限制医保覆盖范围也可能节省资金,因为此类做法将限制从联邦政府获得全部或部分医保的人数。

Several immigration lawyers and health policy experts have criticized the restrictions, saying they will make it more difficult to achieve the goals of the health law and the immigration initiative, which Democrats consider two of Mr. Obama’s most significant achievements.

多名移民律师和医疗政策专家批评了这些限制,称其将加大实现医保法和移民计划目标的难度,而在民主党人看来,这两项是奥巴马最重要的成就。

Jennifer M. Ng’andu, a health policy specialist at the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic rights group, said: “We do not understand why the administration decided to do this. It’s providing immigration relief to children and young adults so they can be fully integrated into society. At the same time, it’s shutting them out of the health care system so they cannot become productive members of society.”

西语裔维权组织——拉美裔全国委员会(National Council of La Raza)的医疗政策专家詹妮弗·M·恩甘杜(Jennifer M. Ng’andu)说,“我们不明白奥巴马政府为什么决定这样做。一方面,它向儿童和年轻人提供移民救济,使他们能够完全融入社会。另一方面,它把他们挡在医疗体系门外,使他们不能成为有生产力的社会成员。”

Under the new federal health law, insurance subsidies are available not only to citizens, but also to low-income immigrants “lawfully present” in the United States. That group will still include green card holders and people granted asylum.

根据新的联邦医保法,医保补贴不仅适用于美国公民,也同样适用于那些低收入的美国“合法居留”移民。这个人群包括持绿卡者和得到庇护的人。

The Pew Research Center estimates that up to 1.7 million unauthorized immigrants could eventually seek deferrals of deportation under the exercise of executive authority announced in June by Mr. Obama. Those immigrants will continue to be able to receive health insurance from employers, but many are likely to struggle to obtain coverage if they do not have a job that provides it.

皮尤研究中心(Pew Research Center)估计,根据今年6月奥巴马宣布的行政命令,最终可能有多达170万无证移民寻求暂缓遣返。这些移民将能够继续获得雇主提供的医疗保险,但如果没有附带医保的工作,许多人可能难以获得医保。

In the absence of a significant change in immigration law, young immigrants granted temporary relief from deportation have no clear path to green cards or citizenship.

除非对移民法作出重大修订,否则获得临时救济而免于被遣返的年轻移民没有明确途径可获得绿卡或公民身份。

Republicans in Congress have criticized the deportation deferrals as a form of backdoor amnesty for immigrants who broke the law by entering the United States illegally or by overstaying visas. They say Mr. Obama does not have the legal authority to do what he did — a claim also made in a lawsuit by 10 immigration law enforcement officers who are challenging the policy in Federal District Court.

国会的共和党人批评了暂缓遣返的政策,称其是一种对那些非法进入美国或签证逾期的违法移民的变相大赦。他们表示,奥巴马没有法定权力这么做;这也是10名正在联邦地区法院挑战这项政策的移民执法人员提出的诉讼主张。

The politics of the issue cut in several directions. The Gallup tracking poll shows Mr. Obama with a wide lead over his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, among Hispanic voters. At the same time, administration officials have tried to avoid alienating swing voters who are concerned about illegal immigration, and they have emphasized steps taken to secure the borders.

这个问题在政治上产生不同方向的影响。盖洛普公司(Gallup)的跟踪民调显示,奥巴马在西语裔选民中的人气遥遥领先于共和党竞选对手米特·罗姆尼(Mitt Romney)。同时,奥巴马政府官员试图避免得罪那些对非法移民问题感到担忧的摇摆选民,这些官员强调了奥巴马政府为保障边境安全而采取的步骤。
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